Reverse shoulder arthroplasty has higher perioperative implant complications and transfusion rates than total shoulder arthroplasty

JSES Open Access. 2019 Jun 14;3(2):108-112. doi: 10.1016/j.jses.2019.03.001. eCollection 2019 Jul.


Background: Indications for reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) have expanded. The purpose of this retrospective cohort study was to evaluate national trends in shoulder arthroplasty utilization and to compare national perioperative complication rates for hemiarthroplasty (HA), total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA), and RTSA in a matched cohort.

Methods: The National Inpatient Sample was queried from 2011-2013 to identify patients who underwent HA, TSA, or RTSA. Age, sex, race, insurance type, Elixhauser comorbidity index, and perioperative complications were identified. A coarsened exact matching algorithm was used to match RTSA patients with TSA and HA patients to compare medical and implant-related perioperative in-hospital complications. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed on unmatched data to identify risk factors for development of perioperative complications.

Results: Overall, 42,832 shoulder arthroplasties were identified (44% TSAs, 34% RTSAs, 19% HAs). After matching, RTSAs had 6.2 times the odds of a perioperative implant-related complication (P < .001) and 2 times the odds of a red blood cell transfusion compared with TSAs (P < .001). The logistic regression model showed that prior shoulder arthroplasty (odds ratio [OR], 15.1; P < .001), younger age (OR, 0.98; P = .006), earlier year of index surgery (OR, 0.83; P = .002), history of illicit drug use (OR, 6.2; P = .008), and depression (OR, 2.3; P = .003) were risk factors for development of in-hospital implant-related complications after RTSA.

Conclusion: The perioperative implant-related complication rate and postoperative transfusion rate of RTSAs were significantly higher than those of TSAs. In addition, prior shoulder surgery, younger age, earlier year of index surgery, history of illicit drug use, and depression were risk factors for implant-related complications after RTSA. However, the perioperative RTSA implant-related complications did decline each year, suggesting a growing national proficiency with performing RTSA.

Keywords: Total shoulder arthroplasty; in-hospital complications; national shoulder implant utilization; perioperative complications; perioperative implant complications; reverse total shoulder arthroplasty.