Prosthetic replacement in rotator cuff-deficient shoulders

Roger G. Pollack, Efrain D. Deliz, Stephen J. McIlveen, Evan L. Flatow, Louis U. Bigliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


We reviewed a series of 30 shoulders in 25 patients who had glenohumeral arthritis and rotator cuff deficiency and who underwent prosthetic replacement. Nineteen shoulders underwent humeral head replacement, and 11 shoulders had total shoulder arthroplasty. Meticulous mobilization and reconstruction of the deficiencies in the thin atrophic rotator cuff tissues were attempted in all shoulders. Emphasis was placed on anteroposterior stability, and this was achieved in all shoulders; superior coverage was fully achieved in 15 shoulders and was partially achieved in 11. All shoulders had less pain after surgery, and 93% achieved satisfactory pain relief. Total shoulder arthroplasty and humeral hemiarthroplasty were found to provide similar results with respect to pain relief, functional improvement, and patient satisfaction. Shoulders with hemiarthroplasty gained significantly more active elevation (+52° vs +2°) after surgery. Cuff repair was easier when a humeral head prosthesis alone was used because less lateralization of the humerus occurred. Also, operative time, anesthesia time, and blood loss were decreased with hemiarthroplasty. Because the lack of glenoid resurfacing did not adversely affect pain relief or function and avoided the potential problem of glenoid loosening, we favor humeral hemiarthroplasty as a treatment for glenohumeral arthritis in the rotator cuff-deficient shoulder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-186
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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