Anatomical total shoulder replacement with rotator cuff repair for osteoarthritis of the shoulder

J. P. Simone, P. H. Streubel, G. S. Athwal, J. W. Sperling, C. D. Schleck, R. H. Cofield


We assessed the clinical results, radiographic outcomes and complications of patients undergoing total shoulder replacement (TSR) for osteoarthritis with concurrent repair of a full-thickness rotator cuff tear. Between 1996 and 2010, 45 of 932 patients (4.8%) undergoing TSR for osteoarthritis underwent rotator cuff repair. The final study group comprised 33 patients with a mean follow-up of 4.7 years (3 months to 13 years). Tears were classified into small (10), medium (14), large (9) or massive (0). On a scale of 1 to 5, pain decreased from a mean of 4.7 to 1.7 (p = < 0.0001), the mean forward elevation improved from 99° to 139° (p = < 0.0001), and the mean external rotation improved from 20° (0° to 75°) to 49° (20° to 80°) (p = < 0.0001). The improvement in elevation was greater in those with a small tear (p = 0.03). Radiographic evidence of instability developed in six patients with medium or large tears, indicating lack of rotator cuff healing. In all, six glenoid components, including one with instability, were radiologically at risk of loosening. Complications were noted in five patients, all with medium or large tears; four of these had symptomatic instability and one sustained a late peri-prosthetic fracture. Four patients (12%) required further surgery, three with instability and one with a peri-prosthetic humeral fracture.

Consideration should be given to performing rotator cuff repair for stable shoulders during anatomical TSR, but reverse replacement should be considered for older, less active patients with larger tears.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:224–8.


  • 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.

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

  • Received July 29, 2013.
  • Accepted October 11, 2013.
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