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Reverse shoulder replacement: initial complication rate after fellowship experience

Levy, Jonathan C.; Blum, Sara M.

doi: 10.1097/BCO.0b013e318213776d

Background High complication rates have been reported during the initial surgical experience using reverse shoulder arthroplasty. This study evaluated the role of subspecialty fellowships in overcoming the learning curve for reverse shoulder arthroplasty.

Methods Immediately after fellowship exposure to 131 reverse shoulder arthroplasty surgeries, 40 consecutive patients (average age 76) were treated with a reverse shoulder replacement and followed for an average of 18 months. Major (need for revision) and minor complications (no revision needed) were reported based on clinical and radiographic follow-up.

Results Two patients had major complications (5%) and eight patients had minor complications (20%). There was no significant difference in the complication rate seen in the first and last 20 patients (P=1.0).

Conclusion Complication rates were comparable to series performed by experienced shoulder surgeons.

Holy Cross Orthopaedic Institute, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Disclosures: Jonathan Levy, MD is a consultant for DJO Orthopaedics.

Sara Blum, PA-C has no financial relationships.

Correspondence to Jonathan C. Levy, MD, Holy Cross Orthopaedic Institute, 5597 North Dixie Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33334 Tel: +954 958 4800; fax: +954 958 4899; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.