Survivorship of total shoulder arthroplasty vs. hemiarthroplasty for the treatment of avascular necrosis at greater than 10-year follow-up

Kevin C. Wang, David E. Kantrowitz, Akshar V. Patel, Bradford O. Parsons, Evan L. Flatow, Paul J. Cagle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Avascular necrosis (AVN) of the humeral head is a debilitating pathology that can be managed with an array of treatments depending on disease staging. Humeral head arthroplasty for AVN has demonstrated good short-term improvements in pain and range of motion, but the published long-term outcomes data are limited. The objective of this study was to report long-term survivorship and outcomes for patients undergoing hemiarthroplasty (HA) or total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) for the treatment of AVN of the humeral head. Methods: The practice of one fellowship-trained shoulder surgeon was queried for the surgical treatment of AVN of the humeral head via appropriate International Classification of Diseases, Ninth and Tenth Revision, codes. Sixteen shoulders that met inclusion criteria were identified. Demographics included the radiographic stage, age, sex, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score, and body mass index. The primary endpoint was survivorship of the implant. Secondary endpoints were range of motion in forward elevation, internal and external rotation, visual analog scale for pain, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form score, and the Simple Shoulder Test score. Results: Of the 16 shoulders included in the study, 10 underwent HA and 6 underwent TSA. The TSA cohort was significantly older (mean 60.5 vs. 44.2, P = .005), with a higher mean ASA score (mean 3.0 vs. 2.13, P = .02) than the HA group. The 10-year survivorship rates were 88.9% for HA and 80% for TSA with no significant difference between groups. Survivorship data were available for a mean 13.0 ± 5.6 years’ follow-up in the HA group and 13.8 ± 4.8 years in the TSA group. When compared to one another, the results between HA and TSA only differed in internal rotation, which was statistically significantly improved in the TSA group compared with HA (2.3 ± 2.6 compared with –3.0 ± 5.0, P = .03). Conclusion: The survivorship of both TSA and HA for the treatment of AVN was at least 80% at 10 years. Secondary endpoints, such as range of motion, pain, and shoulder function, improved significantly postoperatively in each cohort and were similar between the 2 groups, except for internal rotation, which had improved significantly more in the TSA group than in HA. Both TSA and HA are viable options for the treatment of AVN, each with durable long-term survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1782-1788
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Level III
  • Retrospective Cohort Comparison
  • Shoulder
  • Treatment Study
  • arthroplasty
  • avascular necrosis
  • shoulder hemiarthroplasty
  • shoulder surgery
  • total shoulder arthroplasty


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