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Upper Limb

A multicentre study of the long-term results of using a flat-back polyethylene glenoid component in shoulder replacement for primary osteoarthritis

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We report the long-term clinical and radiological outcomes of the Aequalis total shoulder replacement with a cemented all-polyethylene flat-back keeled glenoid component implanted for primary osteoarthritis between 1991 and 2003 in nine European centres. A total of 226 shoulders in 210 patients were retrospectively reviewed at a mean of 122.7 months (61 to 219) or at revision. Clinical outcome was assessed using the Constant score, patient satisfaction score and range of movement. Kaplan-Meier survivorship analysis was performed with glenoid revision for loosening and radiological glenoid loosening (sd) as endpoints. The Constant score was found to improve from a mean of 26.8 (sd 10.3) pre-operatively to 57.6 (sd 20.0) post-operatively (p < 0.001). Active forward flexion improved from a mean of 85.3° (sd 27.4) pre-operatively to 125° (sd 37.3) postoperatively (p < 0.001). External rotation improved from a mean of 7° (sd 6.5) pre-operatively to 30.3° (sd 21.8°) post-operatively (p < 0.001). Survivorship with revision of the glenoid component as the endpoint was 99.1% at five years, 94.5% at ten years and 79.4% at 15 years. Survivorship with radiological loosening as the endpoint was 99.1% at five years, 80.3% at ten years and 33.6% at 15 years.

Younger patient age and the curettage technique for glenoid preparation correlated with loosening. The rate of glenoid revision and radiological loosening increased with duration of follow-up, but not until a follow-up of five years. Therefore, we recommend that future studies reporting radiological outcomes of new glenoid designs should report follow-up of at least five to ten years.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr A. Young; e-mail: drallanyoung@hotmail.com

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