Revision of an unstable hemiarthroplasty or anatomical total shoulder replacement using a reverse design prosthesis

M. P. Abdel, S. J. Hattrup, J. W. Sperling, R. H. Cofield, C. R. Kreofsky, J. Sanchez-Sotelo


Instability after arthroplasty of the shoulder is difficult to correct surgically. Soft-tissue procedures and revision surgery using unconstrained anatomical components are associated with a high rate of failure. The purpose of this study was to determine the results of revision of an unstable anatomical shoulder arthroplasty to a reverse design prosthesis. Between 2004 and 2007, 33 unstable anatomical shoulder arthroplasties were revised to a reverse design. The mean age of the patients was 71 years (53 to 86) and their mean follow-up was 42 months (25 to 71). The mean time to revision was 26 months (4 to 164). Pain scores improved significantly (pre-operative visual analogue scale (VAS) of 7.2 (sd 1.6); most recent VAS 2.2 (sd 1.9); p = 0.001). There was a statistically significant increase in mean active forward elevation from 40.2° (sd 27.3) to 97.0° (sd 36.2) (p = 0.001). There was no significant difference in internal (p = 0.93) or external rotation (p = 0.40). Radiological findings included notching in five shoulders (15%) and heterotopic ossification of the inferior capsular region in three (9%). At the last follow-up 31 shoulders (94%) were stable. The remaining two shoulders dislocated at 2.5 weeks and three months post-operatively, respectively. According to the Neer rating system, there were 13 excellent (40%), ten satisfactory (30%) and ten unsatisfactory results (30%). Revision of hemiarthroplasty or anatomical total shoulder replacement for instability using a reverse design prosthesis gives good short-term results.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:668–72.


  • The author or one or more of the authors have received or will receive benefits for personal or professional use from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article. In addition, benefits have been or will be directed to a research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other non- profit organisation with which one or more of the authors are associated.

    This article was primary edited by P. Baird and first-proof edited by J. Scott.

  • Received September 27, 2012.
  • Accepted January 18, 2013.
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