Acute versus delayed reverse total shoulder arthroplasty for proximal humeral fractures: a consecutive cohort study

Georgios N. Panagopoulos, Mattia Pugliese, Andreas Leonidou, Faisal Butt, Monketh Jaibaji, Panayiotis D. Megaloikonomos, Paolo Consigliere, Giuseppe Sforza, Ehud Atoun, Ofer Levy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Background: The treatment of displaced proximal humeral fractures (PHFs) remains controversial. Open reduction–internal fixation (ORIF) can be challenging, especially in elderly patients with poor bone quality, whereas hemiarthroplasty has had unpredictable outcomes. Conservative treatment may result in severe fracture sequelae with poor outcomes, requiring late reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) in many cases. The past few years have seen a shift toward the use of RTSA for the treatment of PHFs. The aim of this study was to compare the outcomes of RTSA between patients with acute fractures and patients who underwent delayed RTSA for fracture sequelae. Our hypothesis was that the outcomes of RTSA for acute PHFs would be better than those of delayed RTSA for fracture sequelae. Methods: We followed up 36 patients with a mean age of 79.1 years who underwent primary RTSA for acute PHFs and 56 patients with a mean age of 72.1 years who underwent RTSA in delayed fashion for fracture sequelae, including failed ORIF. The minimum follow-up period was 24 months. The mean follow-up period was 39.3 months in the acute RTSA group and 56.6 months in the delayed RTSA group. Demographic data, radiographs, and surgery data were prospectively collected and analyzed. At final follow-up, range of motion and radiographic analysis findings, as well as the Subjective Shoulder Value (SSV) and Constant score (CS), were recorded. Results: The clinical results favored the group undergoing acute RTSA for acute PHFs, with a mean SSV of 8.3 of 10 and adjusted CS of 88.9% compared with a mean SSV of 8.0 of 10 and adjusted CS of 77.6% in the group undergoing late RTSA for fracture sequelae—but without statistically significant differences between the groups. Although the acute RTSA group showed slightly better range-of-motion values, no statistically significant differences were found between the groups. No intraoperative complications occurred. The time from injury to the regaining of good pain-free function was significantly shorter in the acute RTSA group. Conclusion: Although there were no statistically significant differences in outcomes between early RTSA for acute PHFs and late RTSA for fracture sequelae, the time from injury to the regaining of good pain-free function was significantly shorter in the acute RTSA group. Therefore, we advocate early RTSA for acute PHFs in elderly patients to provide a quicker recovery and an early return to good predictable outcomes with a much shorter period of pain and discomfort. In cases of failed conservative treatment, malunion, or failed ORIF, salvage RTSA has the potential to provide a good outcome.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)276-285
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
    Volume31
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022

    Keywords

    • Level III
    • Proximal humerus fracture
    • Retrospective Cohort Comparison
    • Treatment Study
    • failed treatment
    • fixation
    • fracture
    • fracture sequelae
    • humerus
    • replacement
    • reverse shoulder arthroplasty

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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