Evidence-Based Orthopaedics   |    
Comparison of Hemiarthroplasty and Reverse Arthroplasty for Treatment of Proximal Humeral FracturesA Systematic Review
Surena Namdari, MD, MSc1; John G. Horneff, MD2; Keith Baldwin, MD, MPH, MSPT2
1 Rothman Institute, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 925 Chestnut Street, 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107. E-mail address: Surena.Namdari@gmail.com
2 Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 2 Silverstein, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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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 Sep 18;95(18):1701-1708. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.01115
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Complex proximal humeral fractures that are not amenable to surgical fixation represent a difficult treatment problem. The purpose of this systematic review was to critically examine the outcomes of reverse shoulder arthroplasty and hemiarthroplasty (with use of a fracture-specific stem) for the treatment of proximal humeral fractures.


A systematic review of the literature was performed by means of a search of electronic databases. Two reviewers independently assessed the methodological quality and extracted relevant data from each included study. When outcomes data were similar among studies, the data were pooled by means of frequency-weighted values to generate summary outcomes.


Fourteen studies fulfilled all inclusion and exclusion criteria and were included. Patients were followed for a frequency-weighted mean of 43.5 months in the reverse arthroplasty group and 31.1 months in the hemiarthroplasty group (p = 0.228). Subjective outcomes (including the Constant score, Constant pain subscore, and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons [ASES] score) and range-of-motion parameters (including active forward elevation, abduction, and external rotation) were similar between the two groups. Compared with hemiarthroplasty, reverse arthroplasty was associated with 4.0 times greater odds of a postoperative complication.


The compiled data and frequency-weighted means demonstrated improvement in function, pain, and range of motion after reverse arthroplasty and hemiarthroplasty. Patients and physicians should consider projected functional outcomes, implant costs, and complication rates when selecting an appropriate arthroplasty technique for this indication.

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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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