Background: Glenohumeral hemiarthroplasty is well established as a method to treat glenohumeral arthritis. This study was designed to report longer-term results and to provide a decision model to assist surgeons in achieving successful outcomes. Our selection strategy for hemiarthroplasty included shoulders with (1) a concentric glenoid with eburnated bone, (2) a nonconcentric glenoid that could be converted to a smooth concentric surface, and (3) a humeral head centered within the glenoid after soft-tissue balancing.
Methods: Fifty-seven consecutive patients (sixty-four shoulders) who had osteoarthritis of the glenohumeral joint, without advanced disease in the glenoid, were treated with hemiarthroplasty. In each instance, a modular prosthesis was implanted. Clinical assessment was performed preoperatively and at one-year intervals postoperatively for at least five years with use of patient self-assessment instruments, including the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons questionnaire, the Simple Shoulder Test, and a visual analog pain scale. A detailed radiographic analysis was performed to determine the presence of glenohumeral subluxation, periprosthetic radiolucency, and glenoid bone loss.
Results: Forty-three patients (fifty shoulders) were followed for a minimum of five years (mean, 7.5 years). Of the remaining fourteen patients (fourteen shoulders), ten were lost to follow-up, three had died, and one was excluded. For the Simple Shoulder Test, and for every visual analog scale measure, the results at the final follow-up evaluation were significantly better than the preoperative results (p < 0.0001 for each). The mean Simple Shoulder Test score at the time of the final follow-up was 9.4 positive responses compared with 9.7 positive responses at the two-year evaluation (p = 0.32), and the mean visual analog scale score for pain was 18.6 points compared with 14.9 points at two years (p = 0.45). Radiographic analysis showed the majority of stems had either no lucency or lucencies only near the tip of the stem. Glenoid bone loss and subluxation improved postoperatively, and the results were maintained at the final follow-up evaluation.
Conclusions: Shoulder hemiarthroplasty provides sustained good-to-excellent pain relief and functional improvement at five to ten years postoperatively in carefully selected patients with osteoarthritis.
Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.