Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty clinical and patient-reported outcomes and complications stratified by preoperative diagnosis: a systematic review

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2021 Apr;30(4):929-941. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2020.09.028. Epub 2020 Oct 22.


Objective: This systematic review aimed to investigate differences in clinical outcomes, patient-reported outcomes (PROs), and complication types and rates among preoperative diagnoses following reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA): rotator cuff tear arthropathy, primary osteoarthritis, massive irreparable rotator cuff tear, proximal humeral fracture, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and revision of anatomic arthroplasty (Rev).

Literature search: Three electronic databases were searched from inception to January 2020.

Study selection criteria: The inclusion criteria were (1) patients with a minimum age of 60 years who underwent RTSA for the stated preoperative diagnoses, (2) a minimum of 2 years' follow-up, and (3) preoperative and postoperative values for clinical outcomes and PROs.

Data synthesis: Risk of bias was determined by the Methodological Index for Non-randomized Studies tool and the modified Downs and Black tool. Weighted means for clinical outcomes and PROs were calculated for each preoperative diagnosis.

Results: A total of 53 studies were included, of which 36 (68%) were level IV retrospective case series. According to the Methodological Index for Non-randomized Studies tool, 33 studies (62%) showed a high risk of bias; the 3 randomized controlled trials showed a low risk of bias on the modified Downs and Black tool. RTSA improved clinical outcomes and PROs for all preoperative diagnoses. The Rev group had poorer final outcomes as noted by a lower American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score (69) and lower pain score (1.8) compared with the other preoperative diagnoses (78-82 and 0.4-1.4, respectively). The RA group showed the highest complication rate (28%), whereas the osteoarthritis group showed the lowest rate (1.4%).

Conclusion: Studies in the RTSA literature predominantly showed a high risk of bias. All preoperative diagnoses showed improvements; Rev patients showed the worse clinical outcomes and PROs, and RA patients showed higher complication rates. The preoperative diagnosis in RTSA patients can impact outcomes and complications.

Keywords: Rehabilitation; cuff tear arthropathy; massive irreparable rotator cuff tear; primary osteoarthritis; proximal humeral fracture; revision shoulder; rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Shoulder*
  • Humans
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries* / diagnosis
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries* / surgery
  • Shoulder Joint* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome