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Comparison of Functional Outcomes of Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty with Those of Hemiarthroplasty in the Treatment of Cuff-Tear ArthropathyA Matched-Pair Analysis
Simon W. Young, FRACS1; Mark Zhu, MBChB1; Cameron G. Walker, PhD2; Peter C. Poon, FRACS1
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, North Shore Hospital, Private Bag 93-503, Takapuna, Auckland 0740, New Zealand. E-mail address for S.W. Young: simonwyoung@gmail.com
2 Department of Engineering Science, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckalnd 1142, New Zealand
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Investigation performed at North Shore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand

Disclosure: None 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 any aspect of this work. 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 © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 May 15;95(10):910-915. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.00302
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Rotator cuff-tear arthropathy has traditionally represented a challenge to the shoulder arthroplasty surgeon. The poor results of conventional total shoulder arthroplasty in rotator-cuff-deficient shoulders due to glenoid component loosening have led to hemiarthroplasty being the traditional preferred surgical option. Recently, reverse total shoulder arthroplasty has gained increasing popularity because of a clinical perception of an improved functional outcome, despite the lack of comparative data. The aim of this study was to compare the early functional results of hemiarthroplasty with those of reverse shoulder arthroplasty in the management of cuff-tear arthropathy.


The results of 102 primary hemiarthroplasties for rotator cuff-tear arthropathy were compared with those of 102 reverse shoulder arthroplasties performed for the same diagnosis. Patients were identified from the New Zealand Joint Registry and matched for age, sex, and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) scores. Oxford Shoulder Scores (OSS) collected at six months postoperatively as well as mortality and revision rates were compared between the two groups.


There were fifty-one men and fifty-one women in each group, with a mean age of 71.6 years in the hemiarthroplasty group and 72.6 years in the reverse shoulder arthroplasty group. The mean OSS at six months was 31.1 in the hemiarthroplasty group and 37.5 in the reverse shoulder arthroplasty group. At the time of follow-up, there were nine revisions in the hemiarthroplasty group and five in the reverse shoulder arthroplasty group. No difference in mortality rate was seen between the two groups.


In this unselected population with rotator cuff-tear arthropathy, controlled for age, sex, and ASA score, reverse shoulder arthroplasty resulted in a functional outcome that was superior to that of hemiarthroplasty. Longer-term follow-up is needed to confirm these findings.

Level of Evidence: 

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

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    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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