Reverse shoulder prosthesis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review



To obtain detailed information on the outcomes of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) undergoing reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA)


A literature search was conducted for studies reporting on the use of RSA in RA patients from 1990 to 2014. The inclusion criteria were a report of sufficient information on pre-operative status and surgical outcome allowing evaluation of the therapeutic potential of RSA in RA. The literature search resulted in 586 hits, but only five studies that met the inclusion criteria were assessed.


There were 100 shoulders that had been operated on, of which 87 were followed for a mean of 55.4 months, the longest follow-up being 11.9 years Most patients had glenohumeral erosive lesions of Larsen Grade III or IV. The Delta III prosthesis was implanted in most cases and in three studies bone graft was used for severe glenoid lesions. The main outcome measures employed were the Constant score (Cs) and ASES questionnaire. The mean increase in Cs and ASES score after surgery was 42.4 and 54 points, respectively. The mean post-operative forward elevation was 120.6°, the average increment being 51° and the mean increase of abduction was 58.5°. The mean prevalence of scapular notching was 35.4 %. The rate of adverse events was 31 %, but the vast majority were of minor severity. Eight prostheses underwent revision, due to infection in four.


RSA implanted in RA patients would appear to give similar results to those obtained in massive cuff tears with or without arthropathy.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Stefano Carbone.

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Postacchini, R., Carbone, S., Canero, G. et al. Reverse shoulder prosthesis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) 40, 965–973 (2016).

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  • Reverse shoulder athroplasty
  • Reverse shoulder prosthesis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Outcomes
  • Revisions