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J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2011 Dec;20(8):1248-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2010.12.013. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

The vertical humeral osteotomy for stem removal in revision shoulder arthroplasty: results and technique.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Division of Shoulder and Elbow, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.



Revision shoulder arthroplasty represents a complex and difficult problem for the treating surgeon, with multiple potential complications. In the setting of a well-fixed humeral component, removal can lead to fractures and compromise the outcome of the revision. The current study describes and evaluates the results of a novel vertical humeral osteotomy (VHO) for stem extraction. We hypothesized that the VHO will enable successful stem extraction without perioperative or postoperative fractures.


Twenty-seven patients were retrospectively identified who had a VHO for revision shoulder arthroplasty, with 23 patients available for final follow-up. Records and radiographs were reviewed for postoperative complications. Final follow-up was completed with the inclusion of shoulder scores.


There were no perioperative or postoperative fractures on clinical examination and radiographic review at an average follow-up of 41 months. Average American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score was 64.7 (contralateral ASES, 76.9), average Simple Shoulder Test was 6.3, and the visual analog score pain average was 1.3. There were no instability events.


The glenoid is the more common site for failure in both hemiarthroplasty and total shoulder arthroplasty. This can lead to a difficult revision procedure if the ingrown or cemented humeral stem requires removal.


In the current study, we found the VHO was an effective tool for the removal of the humeral prosthesis with no perioperative or postoperative fractures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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