Rate of Improvement in Outcomes Measures After Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty: A Longitudinal Study With 2-Year Follow-up

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Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Arthroplasty



Few studies report rate of improvement following reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) in a single cohort. The purpose of this study was to compare functional scores following RTSA across postoperative time points in patients who have follow-up scores available at all selected time points.


A prospective database was retrospectively queried for patients with functional outcome data from preoperatively and after RTSA at 3 to 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years, excluding any patients with data missing at these points. All patients included had measures from every time point. Collected outcomes included American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES), visual analog scale pain, subjective shoulder value (SSV), and range of motion.


Outcomes from 173 shoulders were analyzed. Average age was 68 ± 9 years, 68% were females, and 15% were revision cases. The average preoperative ASES score (33 ± 17) improved to 73 ± 18 at 3 to 6 months, 80 ± 19 at 1 year, and 81 ± 19 at 2 years after RTSA. Only outcomes at 1 and 2 years were not significantly different (P = 1.0). SSV scores and forward elevation followed this pattern, with large improvements in the first 3 to 6 months, then reaching a plateau at 1 year. External and internal rotations did not improve by 3 to 6 months, but did significantly improve by 1 year, and remained stable through 2 years. Pain scores improved from 6.8 points before surgery to roughly 1.3 points at all subsequent time points.


Patients undergoing RTSA can expect significant reductions in pain and the majority of their functional gains to occur in the first 6 months after surgery. At 12 months after RTSA, the average patient will achieve maximal improvement.



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