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Objective: Wrestling is a popular sport in the United States at both the high school and collegiate levels. Traditionally a men’s sport, participation by female athletes in wrestling is increasing. There exists a paucity of literature regarding injury incidence in women’s wrestling. This lack of information challenges the ability of sports medicine and strength training professionals to design optimal injury prevention programs, training routines, and rehabilitation strategies. The objective of this report is to detail the successful conservative rehabilitation of a female wrestler after an initial glenohumeral dislocation.

Design: Case report

Case description: A 20-year-old female wrestling student–athlete presented to the university’s sports medicine team after sustaining an anteriorly dislocated right shoulder. The patient had the goal to return back to competition in time for the National Championships. An evidenced-supported, non-traumatic glenohumeral instability rehabilitation protocol combined with weight-bearing exercises simulating functional sport positions was implemented with the goal of returning the injured collegiate female wrestler back to sport.

Results: At the end of the rehabilitation program the athlete demonstrated full active range of motion, good strength in the right shoulder, and reported her pain rating at a 1/10. The conservative rehabilitation strategy utilized in this case enabled the patient to return to wrestling and successfully compete at the National Championships.