Background: Both total shoulder arthroplasty and hemiarthroplasty have been used commonly to treat severe osteoarthritis of the shoulder; however, their effect on disease-specific quality-of-life outcome is unknown. The purpose of this study was to compare the quality-of-life outcome following hemiarthroplasty with that following total shoulder arthroplasty in patients with osteoarthritis of the shoulder.
Methods: Forty-two patients with a diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the shoulder were randomized to receive a hemiarthroplasty or a total shoulder arthroplasty. One patient died, and all others were evaluated preoperatively and at six weeks and three, six, twelve, eighteen, and twenty-four months postoperatively with use of a standardized format including a disease-specific quality-of-life measurement tool (Western Ontario Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder [WOOS] index), general shoulder rating scales (University of California at Los Angeles [UCLA] shoulder scale, Constant score, and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons [ASES] evaluation form), general pain scales (McGill pain score and visual analogue scale), and a global health measure (Short Form-36 [SF-36]). When a patient required revision of a hemiarthroplasty to a total shoulder arthroplasty, the last score before he or she “crossed over” was used for the analysis.
Results: Significant improvements in disease-specific quality of life were seen two years after both the total shoulder arthroplasties and the hemiarthroplasties. There were no significant differences in quality of life (WOOS score) between the group treated with total shoulder arthroplasty and that treated with hemiarthroplasty (90.6 ± 13.2 and 81.5 ± 24.1 points, respectively; p = 0.18). The other outcome measures demonstrated similar findings. Two patients in the hemiarthroplasty group crossed over to the other group by undergoing a revision to a total shoulder arthroplasty because of glenoid arthrosis.
Conclusions: Both total shoulder arthroplasty and hemiarthroplasty improve disease-specific and general quality-of-life measurements. With the small number of patients in our study, we found no significant differences in these measurements between the two treatment groups.
Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.