Indications for reverse shoulder replacement

A systematic review

C. D. Smith, P. Guyver, T. D. Bunker


The outcome of an anatomical shoulder replacement depends on an intact rotator cuff. In 1981 Grammont designed a novel large-head reverse shoulder replacement for patients with cuff deficiency. Such has been the success of this replacement that it has led to a rapid expansion of the indications. We performed a systematic review of the literature to evaluate the functional outcome of each indication for the reverse shoulder replacement. Secondary outcome measures of range of movement, pain scores and complication rates are also presented.


  • No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

  • Supplementary material. Six tables detailing the studies that have presented the outcomes and complications of the use of reverse shoulder replacement in the treatment of i) cuff tear arthropathy, ii) massive cuff tears without arthritis, iii) rheumatoid arthritis with cuff tears, iv) acute proximal humeral fractures, v) the sequelae of proximal humeral fractures and fracture-dislocations, and vi) revision procedures, are available with the electronic version of this article on our website

  • Received June 21, 2011.
  • Accepted December 12, 2011.
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