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Impact of Total Shoulder Arthroplasty on Generic and Shoulder-Specific Health-Related Quality-of-Life MeasuresA Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis
Michael J. Carter, MD1; Ted R. Mikuls, MD, MSPH1; Smita Nayak, MD2; Edward V. Fehringer, MD3; Kaleb Michaud, PhD1
1 University of Nebraska Medical Center, 986270 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-6270. E-mail address for K. Michaud: kmichaud@unmc.edu
2 University of Pittsburgh, 200 Meyran Avenue, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
3 Nebraska Arthritis Outcomes Research Center & University of Nebraska Medical Center, 981080 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-1080
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  • Disclosure statement for author(s): PDF

Investigation performed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska

Disclosure: One or more of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of an aspect of this work. In addition, one or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. No author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2012 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2012 Sep 05;94(17):e127 1-9. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.K.00204
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Total shoulder arthroplasty is increasingly used in the treatment of arthritis. However, the effect of total shoulder arthroplasty on health-related quality of life has not been fully established. The goal of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to characterize the change in generic and shoulder-specific health-related quality-of-life measures resulting from total shoulder arthroplasty.


We identified published studies reporting preoperative and postoperative health-related quality-of-life outcomes for patients receiving total shoulder arthroplasty. Health-related quality-of-life measures were identified, and meta-analysis was used to calculate standardized mean differences (SMDs, reflective of the effect size) and 95% confidence intervals for each scale.


Twenty studies (1576 total shoulder replacements) met the inclusion criteria. Outcome measures were analyzed after an average postoperative follow-up duration of 3.7 ± 2.2 years. The Short Form-36 demonstrated significant improvement in physical component summary scores (SMD = 0.7, p < 0.001) but not in mental component summary scores (SMD = 0.2, p = 0.37). Significant improvements were observed in the visual analog scale score for pain (SMD = −2.5, p < 0.001) and scores on three shoulder-specific measures: the Constant score (SMD = 2.7, p < 0.001), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score (SMD = 2.9, p < 0.001), and Simple Shoulder Test (SMD = 2.3, p < 0.001).


Total shoulder arthroplasty leads to significant improvements in scores for function and pain. Shoulder-specific measures of function consistently showed the greatest degree of improvement, with large effect sizes. Total shoulder arthroplasty also leads to significant improvements in overall physical well-being, with a moderate-to-large effect size.

Level of Evidence: 

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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