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J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2012 Nov;21(11):1516-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2011.11.021. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Clinical results of revision shoulder arthroplasty using the reverse prosthesis.

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  • 1San Francisco Shoulder, Elbow and Hand Clinic, San Francisco, CA, USA.



Success of revision shoulder arthroplasty using an unconstrained prosthesis depends on an intact rotator cuff and satisfactory bone quantity. However, the reverse shoulder arthroplasty can stabilize a glenohumeral joint even in patients with rotator cuff deficiency and bone deficits, resulting in improved outcomes.


Thirty shoulders in 28 patients with a failed arthroplasty were investigated consecutively between 2005 and 2008. All shoulders had significant rotator cuff deficiency without glenoid bone loss. Revision arthroplasty using the reverse prosthesis was performed with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up. Concomitant glenoid reconstructions with tricortical iliac crest bone grafting were necessary in 12 shoulders.


The average adjusted Constant score improved from 24% to 65% and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score improved from 55 to 72 (P < .0001). Average active forward flexion increased from 42° to 106° (P < .0001). The average ASES pain score improved from 6.6 to 1.6 (P < .0001). The overall complication rate was 50%, and 7 patients (23%) required reoperation. Overall, 24 of 30 shoulders (80%) were very satisfied or satisfied.


Reverse shoulder arthroplasty can be an efficacious salvage procedure in the management of failed arthroplasty due to rotator cuff-related instability or bone defects, or both. Structural bone grafting on the glenoid side is successful at managing large defects, producing similar or better clinical outcomes compared with patients without bone loss. Although the operation is associated with a considerable complication rate, 80% of patients were satisfied with the results of the procedure, and 29 of 30 shoulders had a stable prosthesis.

Copyright © 2012 Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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