View Full Version : Is it still true that partial rotator cuff tears or full tears end careers?

08-07-2009, 02:18 PM
I was wondering if anyone knew how many elite tennis players in the WTA and ATP suffered from rotator cuff injuries?

I know at one point it was thought that a rotator cuff tear (partial or otherwise) spelled the end of one's competitive career. Is this still true and if not, who are the pro's that have had tears that continue to seriously compete?

08-07-2009, 02:55 PM
I don't think that it spells the end of a career anymore. Surgery and rehabilitation techniques have improved over the years. I mean, if serious enough it sure can, but I don't think it is as big of a deal as it used to be.

These injuries come up a lot with baseball pitchers. The effects will probably be similar after rehabilitation (lower serve speed and accuracy). Serving while playing tennis is less stressful than pitching, so the results will probably be better in tennis.


08-07-2009, 03:47 PM
depends on the sport, and position

rotator cuff tear in baseball as a pitcher means youll never be the same again

id guess the same in tennis as well, other positions depend on what parts your using i guess

08-07-2009, 07:28 PM
I was thinking more of the return of Tommy Haas or Maria Sharapova...can elite players be "elite" after a rotator cuff tear?

08-09-2009, 05:22 AM
I just read an interview where Tommy Haas said his rotator cuff was torn 95%...and he was still able to come back from this...amazing.

08-09-2009, 05:27 AM
Didn't that injury end Pat Rafter's career?

08-09-2009, 06:14 AM
No, Not in all cases. I injured mine playing baseball. I rehabbed during the winter, about 6 months....using the rubber bands they give you, moved up to weight training and it is fine now.

08-09-2009, 11:02 AM
Not all rotator cuffs are equal. Rehab potential will depend on the quality of the tissue (which affects the strength of the repair if it requires surgery). As much as anything, the I think the length of time out for recovery is as big an issue. There's such a short window for a professional's career. 12-18 months out can be 10-20% of the potential career for a top player.

I think more problematic are torn labral tissue of the hip, part of the lining of the hip joint. The surgery and rehab are much more irregular (see Kuerten, Gustavo) and movement is difficult to regain at 100%

08-10-2009, 10:19 AM
^^^Point well taken, however, what does it say about the sport given that this was once a career ending injury and now simply a common nuisance to most pro players.