, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 29-36,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 14 Jul 2010

Prognostic Factors in Arthroplasty in the Rheumatoid Shoulder


Total shoulder arthroplasty is commonly considered a good option for treatment of the rheumatoid shoulder. However, when the rotator cuff and glenoid bone stock are not preserved, the clinical outcome of arthroplasty in the rheumatoid patients remains unclear. Aim of the study is to explore the prognostic value of multiple preoperative and peroperative variables in total shoulder arthroplasty and shoulder hemiarthroplasty in rheumatoid patients. Clinical Hospital for Special Surgery Shoulder score was determined at different time points over a mean period of 6.5 years in 66 rheumatoid patients with total shoulder arthroplasty and 75 rheumatoid patients with shoulder hemiarthroplasty. Moreover, radiographic analysis was performed to assess the progression of humeral head migration and glenoid loosening. Advanced age and erosions or cysts at the AC joint at time of surgery were associated with a lower postoperative Clinical Hospital for Special Surgery Shoulder score. In total shoulder arthroplasty, status of the rotator cuff and its repair at surgery were predictive of postoperative improvement. Progression of proximal migration during the period after surgery was associated with a lower clinical score over time. However, in hemiarthroplasty, no relation was observed between the progression of proximal or medial migration during follow-up and the clinical score over time. Status of the AC joint and age at the time of surgery should be taken into account when considering shoulder arthroplasty in rheumatoid patients. Total shoulder arthroplasty in combination with good cuff repair yields comparable clinical results as total shoulder arthroplasty when the cuff is intact.

Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (e.g., consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc.) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.
Each author certifies that his or her institution has approved the reporting of these cases, that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participating in the study was obtained.
Level of evidence of this study is: therapeutic study, level IV.