Aim: Review and critical evaluation of 181 shoulder arthroplasties performed on 171 patients between December 1992 and January 1997.
Method: We performed 118 hemiarthroplasties and 63 total shoulder replacements in 171 patients with an average age of 56.5 years. The patients were examined clinically and radiologically before surgery and followed-up for an average of two years. The Constant score was used for postoperative functional assessment.
Results: 46 % of the patients were very satisfied and 31 % were satisfied with the outcome. We found a significant pain reduction and an improvement of active joint function. The average Constant score was 34.9 preoperatively and 65.2 postoperatively. Overall, we found the best results after joint replacement in patients treated for avascular necrosis or fracture sequelae of the humeral head. A revision surgery had to be performed in 16 patients (8.8 %).
Conclusion: The results of this study are encouraging and underline the growing importance of shoulder arthroplasty. The preoperative limited range of motion, previous surgeries, and the status of the rotator cuff are preoperative indicators for a favourable postoperative outcome. Preoperative planning, anatomical reconstruction, and an optimal rehabilitation programme are the keys for successful shoulder arthroplasty.