Background and purpose Previous studies on shoulder arthroplasty have usually described small patient populations, and few articles have addressed the survival of shoulder implants. We describe the results of shoulder replacement in the Norwegian population (of 4.7 million) during a 12-year period. Trends in the use of shoulder arthroplasty during the study period were also investigated.
Patients and methods 1,531 hemiprostheses (HPs), 69 total shoulder replacements (Neer type TSR), and 225 reversed total shoulder replacement (reversed TSR) operations were reported to the Norwegian Arthroplasty Register between 1994 and 2005. Kaplan-Meier failure curves were drawn up for particular subgroups of patients, and revision rates were calculated using Cox regression analysis.
Results The 5- and 10-year failure rates of hemiprostheses were 6% (95% CI: 5–7) and 8% (95% CI: 6–10), and for reversed total shoulder replacements they were 10% (95% CI: 5–15) and 22% (95% CI: 10–33), respectively. For hemiprostheses, the risk of revision for patients who were 70 years or older was half that of those who were younger (RR = 0.47, CI: 0.28–0.77), while the risk of revision was highest for patients with sequelae after fracture compared to those with acute fractures (RR = 3.3, CI: 1.5–7.2). No differences in prosthesis survival were found between the different hemiprosthesis brands. The main reasons for revision of hemiprostheses were pain and luxation. For reversed total prostheses, the risk of revision was less for women than for men (RR = 0.26, CI: 0.11–0.63), and the main cause of revision was aseptic loosening of the glenoid component. During the study period, the incidence of shoulder arthroplasty increased for all diagnostic groups except inflammatory arthritis, for which a decrease was seen.
Interpretation We found good results in terms of 5-year prosthesis failure rate, with the use of hemiarthroplasty for patients with inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis, and acute fractures. Reversed total shoulder replacement was associated with a rather poor prognosis.