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Shoulder & Elbow

Does having a rotator cuff repair prior to reverse total shoulder arthroplasty influence the outcome?

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The number of rotator cuff repairs that are undertaken is increasing. Reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) is the procedure of choice for patients with rotator cuff arthropathy. We sought to determine whether patients who underwent rotator cuff repair and subsequent RSA had different outcomes compared with a matched control group who underwent RSA without a previous rotator cuff repair.

Patients and Methods

All patients with a history of rotator cuff repair who underwent RSA between 2000 and 2015 with a minimum follow-up of two years were eligible for inclusion as the study group. Outcomes, including the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) scores, were compared with a matched control group of patients who underwent RSA without having previously undergone rotator cuff repair.


The study group included 45 patients. Their mean age was 69 years (sd 8.6) and 27 patients (60%) were women. The mean ASES score improved from 43.1 to 76.6 two years postoperatively, and to 66.9 five years postoperatively. There was no significant difference between the outcomes at two years in the two groups (all p ≥ 0.05), although there was significantly more improvement in ASES scores in the control group (44.5 vs 33.4; p = 0.01). However, there was no significant difference between ASES scores at two and five years when baseline ASES scores were matched in the two groups (p = 0.42 at two years; p = 0.35 at five years).


Significant improvements in ASES scores were seen following RSA in patients who had previously undergone rotator cuff repair. They had higher baseline ASES scores than those who had not previously undergone this surgery. However, there was no significant difference in outcomes between the two groups, two years postoperatively. Previous rotator cuff repair does not appear to affect the early outcome after RSA adversely.

Correspondence should be sent to B. J. Erickson; email:

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