Can Lateralization of Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty Improve Active External Rotation in Patients with Preoperative Fatty Infiltration of the Infraspinatus and Teres Minor?

J Clin Med. 2021 Sep 13;10(18):4130. doi: 10.3390/jcm10184130.


(1) Background: Postoperative recovery of external rotation after reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) has been reported despite nonfunctional external rotator muscles. Thus, this study aimed to clinically determine the ideal prosthetic design allowing external rotation recovery in such a cohort. (2) Methods: A monocentric comparative study was retrospectively performed on patients who had primary RSA between June 2013 and February 2018 with a significant preoperative fatty infiltration of the infraspinatus and teres minor. Two groups were formed with patients with a lateral humerus/lateral glenoid 145° onlay RSA-the onlay group (OG), and a medial humerus/lateral glenoid 155° inlay RSA-the inlay group (IG). Patients were matched 1:1 by age, gender, indication, preoperative range of motion (ROM), and Constant score. The ROM and Constant scores were assessed preoperatively and at a minimum follow-up of two years. (3) Results: Forty-seven patients have been included (23 in OG and 24 in IG). Postoperative external rotation increased significantly in the OG only (p = 0.049), and its postoperative value was significantly greater than that of the IG by 11.1° (p = 0.028). (4) Conclusion: The use of a lateralized humeral stem with a low neck-shaft angle resulted in significantly improved external rotation compared to a medialized humeral 155° stem, even in cases of severe fatty infiltration of the infraspinatus and teres minor. Humeral lateralization and a low neck-shaft angle should be favored when planning an RSA in a patient without a functional posterior rotator cuff.

Keywords: PROMs; complication; degeneration; design; prosthesis; range of motion; results.

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