Reversed Revised : What to do when it goes wrong ?

Published online: Sep 27 2014


From Department of Orthopaedics, University Hospital of Ghent, Gent, Belgium


Reversed total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) has well known indications and good to excellent results are described in the literature. When the arthroplasty fails however, revision remains a technical challenge with many questions unanswered. To analyse retrospectively and consecutively the indications and results of primary RTSA-revision. All patients that underwent revision RTSA between 2004 and 2009 were included. Indications for surgery, surgical details and clinical evaluation with the preand postoperative Constant-score (CS) were analyzed. 37 Revisions (37 patients) of RTSA were analysed with an average follow up of 41.2 months (24-84). Indications were infection (23), glenoid loosening (9), instability (2) malpositioning (2) and suprascapular nerve irritation (1). 25 patients obtained a one-stage conversion to a new reversed prosthesis ; 4 patients obtained a two-stage revision ; 8 patients got a megahead prosthesis. No difference in reinfection rate is seen between one- and two stage techniques. An overall lower CS is seen for the mega-head prosthesis. Conclusions : The main indication for revision was infection. Revision of RTSA to a new reversed prosthesis is to prefer even when several procedures are necessary in one patient. When this is impossible, a mega-head prosthesis is to consider and gives reasonable results.