International Orthopaedics

, Volume 42, Issue 10, pp 2423–2428 | Cite as

Can patients manage toileting after reverse total shoulder arthroplasty? A systematic review

  • Jorge Rojas
  • Jacob Joseph
  • Bingli Liu
  • Uma Srikumaran
  • Edward G. McFarlandEmail author
Review Article



A major concern for patients undergoing reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) is managing toileting after surgery. The goals of this systematic review of RTSA studies were to determine the following: (1) the percentage of patients who can manage toileting, (2) their degree of difficulty with toileting, and (3) the percentage of patients who can manage toileting after bilateral versus unilateral RTSA.


Medline, EMBASE, Google Scholar, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for studies reporting the ability to manage toileting after RTSA. Six studies with at least 12 months of follow-up were included, yielding 183 patients (105 unilateral RTSA, 78 bilateral RTSA). We pooled patient data and calculated the weighted mean proportion of patients able to manage toileting, those who reported difficulty, and those able to manage toileting after unilateral versus bilateral RTSA. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.


Most patients (92%; 95% confidence interval, 87–95%) were able to manage toileting after RTSA. Some degree of difficulty with toileting was reported for 20% of all shoulders. Almost all patients with bilateral RTSA were able to manage toileting with at least one arm (weighted mean proportion 97%; 95% confidence interval, 88–99%). There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients able to manage toileting after unilateral versus bilateral RTSA (P = 0.08). Only 3% of all papers published on the clinical results of RTSA by June 2017 reported upon toileting after the procedure.


With the available evidence, most patients were able to manage toileting after RTSA, although one-fifth reported some degree of difficulty. Ability to manage toileting was similar after unilateral versus bilateral RTSA. In the future, this variable should be a standard question after shoulder arthroplasty.

Level of evidence



Activities of daily living Internal rotation Patient satisfaction Range of motion Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty Toileting 



There was no external source of funding for this article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© SICOT aisbl 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Shoulder Surgery, Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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