Accelerated rehabilitation following reverse total shoulder arthroplasty

Jonathan Lee, Paolo Consigliere, Ernest Fawzy, Laura Mariani, Caroline Witney-Lagen, Luis Natera, Berta Buch, Ehud Atoun, Giuseppe Sforza, Eyal Amar, Ofer Levy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Scopus citations


    Background: Postoperative rehabilitation is considered essential and indeed routine practice following rTSA. However, the optimal approach to postoperative rehabilitation is unknown, based on protocols for anatomic TSA, and published literature is sparse, as is the quantity and quality of research evidence. The aim of this study is to outline the accelerated rehabilitation protocol (with immediate activity and no immobilization at all) following reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (rTSA) and assess its safety and effectiveness compared to the more conservative rehabilitation protocols of immobilization in a sling for 6 weeks and for 3 weeks. Materials and methods: Between July 2005 and October 2017, a total of 357 consecutive rTSA in 320 patients underwent a primary rTSA and were included in the study. Patients were divided into 3 groups depending on rehabilitation protocol (6 and 3 weeks' postoperative immobilization, respectively, for groups 1 and 2, and no immobilization for group 3). Patients were assessed preoperatively and reviewed at 3 weeks, 3, 6, and 12 months, and yearly thereafter postoperatively. Constant score (CS), Subjective Shoulder Value (SSV), patient satisfaction, and pain scores were used at each appointment and patients assessed both clinically and radiographically. Results: Mean age at surgery was 76 years (range 40-93). At 1-year follow-up, the CS improved from 16.6 (adjusted 23.9) to 63.2 (adjusted 91.5) in group 1 (n = 114), from 21.5 (adjusted 30.7) to 67.7 (adjusted 98.4) in group 2 (n = 125), and from 22.6 (adjusted 31.3) to 66.6 (adjusted 94.9) in group 3 (n = 118). Pain score improved from 3.1/15 preoperatively to 12.5/15 postoperatively in group 1, from 3.5/15 to 13/15 in group 2, and from 3.7/15 to 12.5/15 in group 3. SSV improved to 8.5/10, 8.6/10, and 8.1/10 for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Mean range of motion (ROM) improved to 142° elevation and 131° abduction in group 1, 153° elevation and 144° abduction in group 2, and 149° elevation and 146° abduction in group 3. No statistically significance differences were observed in CS, SSV, patient satisfaction, pain, and ROM between the 3 groups. Less postoperative complications were observed in group 3 (No immobilization). Conclusion: Accelerated rehabilitation regime post rTSA without immobilization is safe and lead to reliable good clinical results and quick return to function. This study confirms noninferiority of the accelerated rehabilitation regime with fewer postoperative complications related to falls. Accelerated rehabilitation regime post rTSA have further psychological and emotional advantage to the patient, with earlier return to normal function and regaining independence. We recommend the accelerated rehabilitation regime without immobilization following rTSA.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e545-e557
    JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021


    • Level III
    • Retrospective Cohort Comparison
    • Rotator cuff
    • Treatment Study
    • arthropathy
    • pain
    • physiotherapy
    • reverse shoulder

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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