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General Orthopaedics


Current Concepts in Joint Replacement (CCJR) – Spring 2015


Total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) is an excellent surgical solution for patients with shoulder arthritis, providing good to excellent results in the vast majority of patients. Complications are rare, however, when they occur, can be devastating for both the patient and surgeon. An increasingly recognised complication of TSA is glenoid component failure. In a recent review of nearly 4000 shoulder arthroplasties, symptomatic glenoid component loosening occurs at a rate of 1.2% per year, while asymptomatic radiolucent lines occur at a rate of 7.3% per year. In addition, keeled glenoid components have been found to have an increased incidence of radiolucent lines compared to pegged glenoid components at both short and longer-term follow-up. Further, pegged glenoid components are associated with a lower risk of revision arthroplasty compared to keeled glenoid components. In a separate study of approximately 4600 shoulder arthroplasties, metal-backed glenoid components were found to have significantly lower rates of radiolucent lines, radiographic loosening, and component failure compared to all-polyethylene glenoid components. Despite these findings, however, metal-backed components are significantly more likely to require revision surgery (3:1) compared to all-polyethylene components. For the failed TSA due to glenoid component failure, revision with glenoid reimplantation may be considered, but is associated with a high rate of recurrent glenoid loosening. Alternatively, revision to a reverse shoulder arthroplasty, is feasible, but is technically demanding with high complication and reoperation rates. This paper will discuss the etiology, work-up, and treatment of patients with glenoid component failure following TSA.