Revision of failed reverse total shoulder arthroplasty with reverse: short-term clinical outcomes

Jeffrey J. Olson, Caroline J. Granger, J. Ryan Hill, Alexander W. Aleem, Jay D. Keener, Benjamin M. Zmistowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The prevalence of failed reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (rTSA) is increasing. This can often present a challenging clinical situation with substantial bone loss and limited reconstruction options. This study reports a single tertiary referral center's experience with revision of failed rTSA managed with revision rTSA of bone-interfacing components. Methods: After institutional review board approval, all revision shoulder arthroplasty cases performed at a single institution between 2012 and 2020 were reviewed. Cases in which rTSA was revised to a new rTSA construct with revision of at least 1 bone-interfacing implant (humeral stem and/or baseplate) with a minimum 2-year follow-up were identified. Characteristics of revision cases—including indications, bony stock, revised components, and use of bone graft—were collected. All patients were contacted for patient-reported outcome measures at a minimum of 2 years after surgery. In addition, the incidence and indication for any reoperation after revision were determined. Results: Thirty-three patients with an average age of 66 years (range: 46-82 years), with 19 (58%) being female, met the inclusion criteria and had a mean follow-up of 4.2 years (range: 2-8 years). The most common indication for revision rTSA included humeral component loosening (33%; 11/33), baseplate loosening (27%; 9/33), and instability (21%; 7/33). Prerevision infectious workup demonstrated no cases of periprosthetic shoulder infection. Thirteen cases had massive bone loss—5 treated with humeral allograft prosthetic composite, 5 with glenoid bone grafting, and 3 with custom glenoid implant. In total, 10 of 33 cases (30%) required reoperation at a mean of 13 months (range: 1-44 months) for instability (4), humeral loosening (2), infection (1), baseplate loosening (1), or periprosthetic fracture (1). The reoperation rate for patients with revised baseplates only, humerus only, or combined was 23% (3/13), 28% (5/18), and 27% (3/11), respectively. Overall, the visual analog scale pain score improved from 6.5 preoperatively to 2.0 (P < .001), and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score improved from 30.7 to 67.5 (P < .001). However, the postoperative Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation score averaged only 51.2% (range: 2-100%). Conclusion: This study demonstrates that failed rTSA can be salvaged with a revision rTSA. However, patient expectations for functional improvements should be tempered, and a high reoperation rate should be expected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-915
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Case Series
  • Level IV
  • Reverse shoulder arthroplasty
  • Treatment Study
  • complications
  • component loosening
  • instability
  • reoperation
  • revision


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