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Shoulder & Elbow

Reassessing glenoid inclination in reverse total shoulder arthroplasty with glenosphere lateralization

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Existing literature indicates that inferiorly inclined glenoid baseplates following reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) produce better outcomes compared to superiorly inclined baseplates. We aim to compare clinical outcomes for RSAs with superiorly and neutrally/inferiorly inclined lateralized glenospheres.


We retrospectively reviewed 154 consecutive patients undergoing RSA between July 2015 and July 2017 by one single-fellowship trained surgeon (AJ). Two raters (KAM and MVS) independently measured glenoid inclination in preoperative and minimum two year follow-up radiographs (anteroposterior/Grashey) using the RSA angle. Inclination was then compared to patient-reported outcomes, range of motion (ROM), and independently assessed degree of scapular notching and staging of heterotopic ossification at two year follow-up.


Median postoperative inclination for each group was found to be -3.6° (interquartile range (IQR) -2.1 to -6.9) and 6.0° (3.2° to 10.1°) for the neutrally/inferiorly and superiorly inclined cohorts, respectively. Preoperative inclination was highly associated with postoperative inclination (p = 0.004). When comparing superiorly and neutrally/inferiorly inclined glenospheres, there were no differences in heterotopic ossification (p = 0.606), scapular notching (p = 0.367), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score (p = 0.419), Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation (p = 0.417), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) pain score (p = 0.290), forward elevation (p = 0.161), external rotation (p = 0.537), or internal rotation (p = 0.656).


Compared to neutral and inferior inclination, up to 6° ± 3° of superior glenoid baseplate inclination on a lateralized RSA design produces no differences in postoperative ROM or patient-reported outcomes, and produces similar levels of scapular notching and heterotopic ossification. Additionally, the degree of preoperative inclination represents an important factor in surgical decision-making as it is strongly associated with postoperative inclination. It is important to note that the findings of this study are only reflective of lateralized RSA prostheses.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(2):360–365.

Correspondence should be sent to Andrew Jawa. E-mail:

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