Early outcomes of staged bilateral reverse total shoulder arthroplasty: A CASE-CONTROL STUDY

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Some surgeons are reluctant to perform a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) on both shoulders because of concerns regarding difficulty with activities of daily living post-operatively as a result of limited rotation of the shoulders. Nevertheless, we hypothesised that outcomes and patient satisfaction following bilateral RTSA would be comparable to those following unilateral RTSA. A single-surgeon RTSA registry was reviewed for patients who underwent bilateral staged RTSA with a minimum follow-up of two years. A unilateral RTSA matched control was selected for each shoulder in those patients undergoing bilateral procedures. The Constant-Murley score (CMS), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, Subjective Shoulder Values (SSV), visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, range of movement and strength were measured pre- and post-operatively. The mean CMS, ASES, SSV, VAS scores, strength and active forward elevation were significantly improved (all p < 0.01) following each operation in those undergoing bilateral procedures. The mean active external rotation (p = 0.63 and p = 0.19) and internal rotation (p = 0.77 and p = 0.24) were not significantly improved. The improvement in the mean ASES score after the first RTSA was greater than the improvement in its control group (p = 0.0039). The improvement in the mean CMS, ASES scores and active forward elevation was significantly less after the second RTSA than in its control group (p = 0.0244, p = 0.0183, and p = 0.0280, respectively). Pain relief and function significantly improved after each RTSA in those undergoing a bilateral procedure.Bilateral RTSA is thus a reasonable form of treatment for patients with severe bilateral rotator cuff deficiency, although inferior results may be seen after the second procedure compared with the first.

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