As cancer treatments continue to improve the overall survival rates, more patients with a history of cancer will present for anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA). Therefore, it is essential for orthopaedic surgeons to understand the differences in care required by this growing subpopulation. Although the current research suggests that good outcomes can be predicted when appropriately optimized patients with cancer undergo lower extremity total joint arthroplasty, similar studies for TSA are lacking. The primary study question was to examine whether a history of cancer was associated with an increased rate of venous thromboembolism (VTE) after TSA. Secondarily, we sought to examine any association between a history of prostate and breast cancer and surgical or medical complications after TSA.
Using a national insurance database, male patients with a history of prostate cancer and female patients with a history of breast cancer undergoing anatomic TSA for primary osteoarthritis were identified and compared with control subjects matched 3:1 based on age, sex, diabetes mellitus, and tobacco use. Patients with a history of VTE and patients who underwent reverse TSA or hemiarthroplasty were excluded.
Female patients with a history of breast cancer and male patients with a history of prostate cancer undergoing TSA had significantly higher incidences of acute VTE (including deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) compared with matched control subjects (female patients: odds ratio, 1.41; 95% confidence interval, 1.10 to 1.81; P
= 0.024 and male patients: odds ratio, 1.37; 95% confidence interval, 1.05 to 1.79; P
= 0.023). No significant differences were noted in the incidences of any other complications assessed.
Although a personal history of these malignancies does represent a statistically significant risk factor for acute VTE after anatomic TSA, the overall VTE rate remains modest and acceptable. The rates of other surgical and medical complications are not significantly increased in patients with a history of these cancers after TSA compared with control subjects.