Background Minimal clinically important differences (MCIDs) for the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, the Simple Shoulder Test (SST), and a visual analog scale (VAS) measuring pain have not been previously described using an anchor-based method after shoulder arthroplasty. The purpose of this study was to determine the MCIDs for these measures after shoulder arthroplasty for glenohumeral arthritis or advanced rotator cuff disease. Methods Primary anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA), primary reverse TSA, or hemiarthroplasty was performed in 326 patients by 1 of 5 shoulder and elbow surgeons. The SST score, ASES score, and VAS pain score were collected preoperatively and at a minimum of 2 years postoperatively (mean, 3.5 years). The MCIDs were calculated for the ASES score, SST score, and VAS pain score using an anchor-based method. Results The MCIDs for the ASES score, SST score, and VAS pain score were 20.9 (P < .001), 2.4 (P < .0001), and 1.4 (P = .0158), respectively. Duration of follow-up and type of arthroplasty (anatomic TSA vs reverse TSA) did not have a significant effect on the MCIDs (P > .1) except shorter follow-up correlated with a larger MCID for the ASES score (P = .0081). Younger age correlated with larger MCIDs for all scores (P < .024). Female sex correlated with larger MCIDs for the VAS pain score (P = .123) and ASES score (P = .05). Conclusions Patients treated with a shoulder arthroplasty require a 1.4-point improvement in the VAS pain score, a 2.4-point improvement in the SST score, and a 21-point improvement in the ASES score to achieve a minimal clinical importance difference from the procedure.
- ASES score
- Shoulder arthroplasty
- Simple Shoulder Test
- minimal clinically important difference
- outcome scores