Complications of the reverse prosthesis: prevention and treatment

Instr Course Lect. 2012:61:157-68.


Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty was developed in the late 1980s for elderly patients with rotator cuff arthropathy. Several biomechanical advantages of the reverse shoulder arthroplasty result in improved deltoid function, which improves shoulder motion and function compared to other types of shoulder arthroplasty. The main indication for the reverse prosthesis is painful rotator cuff tear arthropathy. The indications for reverse shoulder arthroplasty have continued to expand since it was first performed in the United States in 2004. Although the results of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty have been generally favorable, the complication rate is higher than that of conventional total shoulder arthroplasty. Complications include those common to other shoulder procedures (infection, instability, and nerve injury) and those unique to reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (scapular notching, glenoid baseplate failure, component disassociation, and scapular stress fractures). It is helpful for orthopaedic surgeons to understand ways to avoid these complications and methods with which to treat them.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement / adverse effects*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement / methods*
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / etiology
  • Joint Prosthesis
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Prosthesis Fitting
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / etiology
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / surgery
  • Radiography
  • Scapula / diagnostic imaging
  • Scapula / pathology
  • Scapula / physiopathology
  • Shoulder Dislocation / prevention & control
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery*