Rugby and shoulder trauma: a systematic review
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Rugby is a popular contact sport worldwide. Collisions and tackles during matches and practices often lead to traumatic injuries of the shoulder. This review reports on the epidemiology of injuries, type of lesions and treatment of shoulder injuries, risk factors, such as player position, and return to sport activities. Electronic searches through PubMed (Medline), EMBASE, and Cochrane Library retrieved studies concerning shoulder injuries in rugby players. Data regarding incidence, type and mechanisms of lesion, risk factors and return to sport were extracted and analyzed. The main reported data were incidence, mechanism of injury and type of lesion. Most of the studies report tackle as the main event responsible for shoulder trauma (between 50% and 85%), while the main lesions reported were Bankart lesions, Superior Labral tear from Anterior to Posterior (SLAP tears), anterior dislocation and rotator cuff tears. Open or arthroscopic repair improve clinical outcomes. Shoulder lesions are common injuries in rugby players. Surgical treatment seems to be effective in for rotator cuff tears and shoulder instability. More and better designed studies are needed for a higher Level of Evidence analysis of this topic.