Range of Impingement-Free Abduction and Adduction Deficit After Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty: Hierarchy of Surgical and Implant-Design-Related Factors

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Evaluations of functional outcomes of reverse shoulder arthroplasty have revealed variable improvements in the range of motion and high rates of scapular notching. The purpose of this study was to systematically examine the impact of surgical factors (location of the glenosphere on the glenoid and tilt angle of the glenosphere on the glenoid) and implant-related factors (implant size, center-of-rotation offset, and humeral neck-shaft angle) on impingement-free abduction motion.


A computer model was developed to virtually simulate abduction/adduction motion and its dependence on five surgical and implant-related factors. Three conditions were tested for each factor, resulting in a total of 243 simulated combinations. The overall motion was determined from 0° of abduction until maximum abduction, which would be limited by impingement of the humerosocket on the scapula. In those combinations in which 0° of abduction could not be achieved, the adduction deficit was recorded.


The largest average increase in the range of impingement-free abduction motion resulted from a more lateral center-of-rotation offset: the average increase was 31.9° with a change in the center-of-rotation offset from 0 to 10 mm, and this change resulted in an increase in abduction motion in eighty of the eighty-one combinations. The position of the glenosphere on the glenoid was associated with the second largest average increase in abduction motion (28.1° when the glenosphere position was changed from superior to inferior, with the change resulting in an increase in seventy-one of the eighty-one combinations). These factors were followed by glenosphere tilt, humeral neck-shaft angle, and prosthetic size in terms of their effects on abduction motion. The largest effect in terms of avoiding an adduction deficit was provided by a humeral neck-shaft angle of 130° (the deficit was avoided in forty-nine of the eighty-one combinations in which this angle was used), followed by an inferior glenosphere position on the glenoid (deficit avoided in forty-one combinations), a 10-mm lateral offset of the center of rotation, inferior tilt of the glenosphere, and a 42-mm-diameter prosthetic size.


An understanding of a hierarchy of prosthetic design and implantation factors may be important to maximize impingement-free abduction motion as well as to avoid inferior impingement.

Clinical Relevance:

A better understanding of these factors may lead to a reduction in inferior scapular notching and improvements in impingement-free motion after reverse shoulder replacement.

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