Clinical outcomes after reverse shoulder arthroplasty in patients 60 years old and younger; medium-term results

Aaron Chamberlain, Alexander W. Aleem, Julianne A. Sefko, Karen Steger-May, Jay D. Keener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) has been well-described as a surgical solution to manage rotator cuff tear arthropathy in elderly, low demand paitents. As experience has increased along with improvements in technique and implant design, RTSA has become increasingly used to manage more varied pathologic conditions of the shoulder in younger, more active patients. This study evaluates outcomes in a consecutive series of patients aged 60 years old and younger after undergoing RTSA. Methods: There were 94 shoulders in 89 patients enrolled. Mean age of the cohort was 54.8 (range 18-60 years). Surgical indications included rotator cuff tear arthropathy, irreparable rotator cuff tear without arthritis, glenohumeral arthritis with erosive glenoid deformity, inflammatory arthropathy, proximal humerus fracture nonunion/malunion and failed prior shoulder arthroplasty. Sixty-one shoulders (70%) had undergone at least one prior surgery. Of these, 6 shoulders (6% of total cohort) had a prior failed arthroplasty. Clinical outcomes (American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, Western Ontario Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder index; visual analog scale pain), radiographic outcomes and complications were analyzed and assessed for correlation with patient demographic factors. Results: The mean follow-up for this cohort was 4.9 years (range 2-12 years). Subjects experienced improvements in ASES score and pain (P < .001) and active forward elevation (88° preop to 135° postop, P < .001). Prior operation correlated with worse postoperative ASES and WOOS scores. Higher demand occupation correlated with less improvement in pain scores. The overall complication rate was 12%. Seven shoulders (7%) underwent an additional procedure. There was a 2% incidence of dislocation and a 4% incidence of acromial stress fracture. There was a 36% incidence of notching. Conclusion: With medium-term follow-up, RTSA is a reliable and predictable operation to manage various pathologic conditions in patients aged 60 years or less. Patients predictably experience significant improvements in pain and range of motion while assuming a modest complication risk. Long-term study is needed to understand potential for late complications or implant failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalJSES International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • Case Series
  • Level IV
  • Patient reported outcome
  • Radiographic outcomes
  • Reverse
  • Revision shoulder arthroplasty
  • Shoulder arthroplasty
  • Treatment Study
  • Young patients


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