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Shoulder & Elbow

Long-term survival and failure analysis of anatomical stemmed and stemless shoulder arthroplasties

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The purpose of this study was to compare clinical results, long-term survival, and complication rates of stemless shoulder prosthesis with stemmed anatomical shoulder prostheses for treatment of osteoarthritis and to analyze radiological bone changes around the implants during follow-up.


A total of 161 patients treated with either a stemmed or a stemless shoulder arthroplasty for primary osteoarthritis of the shoulder were evaluated with a mean follow-up of 118 months (102 to 158). The Constant score (CS), the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score, and active range of motion (ROM) were recorded. Radiological analysis for bone adaptations was performed by plain radiographs. A Kaplan-Meier survivorship analysis was calculated and complications were noted.


The ROM (p < 0.001), CS (p < 0.001), and DASH score (p < 0.001) showed significant improvements after shoulder arthroplasty for both implants. There were no differences between the groups treated with stemmed or stemless shoulder prosthesis with respect to the mean CS (79.2 (35 to 118) vs 74.4 (31 to 99); p = 0.519) and DASH scores (11.4 (8 to 29) vs 13.2 (7 to 23); p = 0.210). The ten-year unadjusted cumulative survival rate was 95.3% for the stemmed anatomical shoulder prosthesis and 91.5% for the stemless shoulder prosthesis and did not differ between the treatment groups (p = 0.251). The radiological evaluation of the humeral components in both groups did not show loosening of the humeral implant. The main reason for revision for each type of arthroplasties were complications related to the glenoid.


The use of anatomical stemless shoulder prosthesis yielded good and reliable results and did not differ from anatomical stemmed shoulder prosthesis over a mean period of ten years. The differences in periprosthetic humeral bone adaptations between both implants have no clinical impact during the follow-up.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(7):1292–1300.

Correspondence should be sent to Alexander Berth. E-mail:

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