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Massive Rotator Cuff Tear: When to Consider Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty

Abstract

Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to discuss the indications for reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) in the treatment of massive rotator cuff tear (MCT), review the reported outcomes in the literature, and outline our approach and surgical technique for treating these patients.

Recent Findings

While RSA remains a successful and well-accepted treatment for cuff tear arthropathy (CTA), management of MCT in the absence of arthritis is controversial. In this particular setting, patients best suited for RSA are elderly, lower-demand individuals with chronic, irreparable MCT, and pseudoparalysis. Age < 60, better pre-operative function and upper extremity neurologic dysfunction are potential risk factors for poor outcome with RSA in this population. Long-term follow-up studies of RSA for CTA and MCT show good functional outcomes and implant survival > 90% at 10 years.

Summary

Treatment of MCT must be individualized for each patient. When patient selection is optimized, RSA is a reliable means of relieving pain and improving function with excellent success. Further investigation is necessary to better define its indications and assess the role of alternative, joint-salvaging procedures.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Correspondence to Mark A. Frankle.

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Mark Frankle reports personal fees from DJO Surgical and Cayenne Medical, outside of the submitted work. In addition, he reports patent 6,790,234, issued to DJO Surgical. The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Rotator Cuff Repair

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Sellers, T.R., Abdelfattah, A. & Frankle, M.A. Massive Rotator Cuff Tear: When to Consider Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med 11, 131–140 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12178-018-9467-2

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Keywords

  • Acromiohumeral interval
  • Fatty atrophy
  • Massive rotator cuff tear
  • Reverse shoulder arthroplasty
  • Rotator cuff repair