Treating shoulders with osteoarthritis, an intact rotator cuff, and substantial glenoid bone loss is challenging. One option is reaming the glenoid flat and inserting a reverse prosthesis. This study reports the subjective, objective, and radiographic results of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) in this population.
We retrospectively reviewed 42 consecutive patients (23 women; mean age, 71 years [range, 53 to 89 years]) with primary glenohumeral osteoarthritis, intact rotator cuffs, and Walch type-A2 (n = 19), B2 (n = 5), or C glenoids (n = 18) who had undergone a total of 42 RTSAs with glenoid reaming without bone-grafting between 2008 and 2013 (mean follow-up, 36 months [range, 24 to 66 months]). All patients were evaluated before and after surgery subjectively (using a visual analog scale for pain and 5 shoulder-specific outcome instruments), objectively (with goniometric examination of shoulder range of motion), and radiographically (to assess baseplate loosening and degree of scapular notching).
One baseplate (2%) failed, requiring revision surgery. There were no other signs of baseplate loosening in any patient at the last follow-up. Preoperatively to postoperatively, pain improved significantly (p < 0.001), as did all patient-reported outcome measures and the following range-of-motion parameters (p ≤ 0.001): active abduction, active flexion, and active external rotation with the arm elevated 90°. Eight (19%) of the patients had notching.
RTSA without bone-grafting and with medialization of the baseplate in patients with osteoarthritis and severe glenoid bone loss resulted in significant improvement in pain and function with reliable short-term implant survivorship and may be a good alternative to anatomical TSA. Longer follow-up is needed to determine the relative advantages and disadvantages. This was an “off-label” indication for this device.
Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.