Outcomes of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty with postoperative scapular fracture. A systematic review


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Published online: Feb 13 2021

Laura Loomans, Philippe Debeer, Carl Dierickx

From the Catholic University of Leuven and University of Hasselt, Belgium


Postoperative scapular fractures are infrequent complications of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA). The aim of this study is to discuss the functional outcome, clinical outcome and pain scores of these fractures and to analyze these outcome results based on fracture location.

A systematic review in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines was conducted. Pubmed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane library and Ovid have been screened.

A total of 78 RTSA in 12 articles were retained for qualitative analysis. The average minimum follow- up was 33.3 ± 14.4 months (range 12-60 months) and the mean age was 74.4 ± 5.6 years (range 63-85 years) with a mean female percentage of 90.9%. Overall, the mean DASH score was 39.8 ± 9.4 points (range 29.5- 48.0 points), ASES score 53.4 ± 23.3 points (range 13.3-95.0 points), SST 3.2 ± 2.2 points (range 0.0- 5.1 points), the only OSS 28.0 points and Constant- Murley shoulder score 50.5 ± 20.0 points (range 31.5- 69.0). The mean anterior elevation was 91.5° ± 30.7° (range 46.0°-160.0°), abduction 87.8° ± 21.8° (range 55.0°-125.0°), external rotation 33.2° ± 22.2° (range 9.0°-85°) and the only internal rotation was 60.0°. The VAS score averaged of 3.8 ± 2.8 points (range 0.8-9.0 points). A subgroup analysis of acromial and scapular spine fractures was performed.

Acromial and scapular spine fractures have an undeniable effect on RTSA outcomes, however patients still improve compared to their preoperative state. We advise to consider acromial and scapular fractures as different problems, as prognosis is worse for more medial fractures.