CC BY-NC-ND-license · Joints 2015; 03(02): 62-66
DOI: 10.11138/jts/2015.3.2.062
Original Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Analysis of complications of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty

Raffaele Russo
1   Ospedale dei Pellegrini, Naples, Italy
Giuseppe Della Rotonda
2   Department of Orthopaedics, Ruesch Clinic, Naples, Italy
Michele Ciccarelli
1   Ospedale dei Pellegrini, Naples, Italy
Fabio Cautiero
1   Ospedale dei Pellegrini, Naples, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
15 September 2017 (online)


Purpose: the aim of this study was to analyze complications of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) used to treat different shoulder diseases.

Methods: from March 2000 to March 2013, 195 RTSA were implanted by the senior Author. The indications for reverse prosthesis surgery were secondary osteoarthritis (OA) in 49 cases, irreparable rotator cuff tear (RCT) in 48 cases, and complex humeral fractures in 75 cases, while 19 were patients requiring surgical revision for first prosthesis implant. We used different prostheses with different designs.

Results: the clinical and radiological results of all the patients were analyzed retrospectively at an average follow-up of 7 years. The cases were divided into four groups on the basis of the diagnosis and complications were classified as perioperative, postoperative, or late. The mean total Constant score improved from 28 to 69 points in the OA group; from 21 to 70.8 points in the irreparable RCT group, to 76.4 in the fracture group, and from 16.6 to 59.8 points in the revision group. Scapular notching was observed in 59 cases (30.2%). Thirty-three other complications (16.9%) were observed, namely: hematomas (n=3), instability of the humeral component (n=1), scapular spine fractures (n=2), ulnar nerve deficit (n=2), long thoracic nerve palsy (n=2), deep infections (n=2), periprosthetic fractures (n=6), glenoid fractures (n=2), implant loosening (n=2), anterior deltoid muscle deficiency (n=2) and periarticular heterotopic calcifications (n=9).

Conclusions: the rates of complications, especially fractures, reported in the present study were lower than those reported in the current literature.

Level of evidence: Level IV, therapeutic case series.