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Shoulder & Elbow

Prospective comparison of functional outcomes of primary reverse shoulder arthroplasty for acute fractures versus rotator cuff deficiencies

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The purpose of this study was to determine whether there were long-term differences in outcomes of reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) undertaken for acute proximal humeral fracture versus rotator cuff deficiency with a minimum follow-up of five years.


This was a prospective cohort study comparing 67 patients with acute complex proximal humeral fracture and 64 patients with irreparable rotator cuff deficiency who underwent primary RSA. In the fracture group, there were 52 (77.6%) females and 15 (22.4%) males, with a mean age of 73.5 years (51 to 85), while in the arthropathy group, there were 43 (67.1%) females and 21 (32.9%) males, with a mean age of 70.6 years (50 to 84). Patients were assessed by the Constant score, University of California Los Angeles shoulder score (UCLA), short version of the Disability of the Arm Shoulder and Hand score (QuickDASH), and visual analogue scales (VAS) for pain and satisfaction. Radiological evaluation was also performed.


Mean follow-up was 8.4 years (5 to 11). There were no significant differences in mean absolute (p = 0.125) or adjusted (p = 0.569) Constant, UCLA (p = 0.088), QuickDASH (p = 0.135), VAS-pain (p = 0.062), or range of movement at the final follow-up. However, patient satisfaction was significantly lower in the fracture group (p = 0.002). The complication rate was 1.5% (one patient) versus 9.3% (six patients), and the revision rate was 1.5% (one patient) versus 7.8% (five patients) in the fracture and arthropathy groups, respectively. The ten-year arthroplasty survival was not significantly different (p = 0.221).


RSA may be used not only for patients with irreparable rotator cuff deficiencies, but also for those with acute complex proximal humeral fractures. We found that RSA provided similar functional outcomes and a low revision rate for both indications at long-term. However, satisfaction is lower in patients with an acute fracture.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2020;102-B(11):1555–1559.

Correspondence should be sent to Alejandro Lizaur-Utrilla. E-mail:

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