[Bipolar arthroplasty in rotator cuff arthropathy: 13 cases]

L D Duranthon, B Augereau, H Thomazeau, E Vandenbussche, S Guillo, F Langlais et al.
Revue de Chirurgie Orthopédique et Réparatrice de L'appareil Moteur 2002, 88 (1): 28-34

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: A series of 13 patients with an excentered osteoarthritis of the glenoid who underwent bipolar shoulder arthroplasty is reported.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The series included 13 patients treated in two centers between 1995 and 1998. Mean age was 70 years (58-88). Constant's absolute score and Swanson's score were used for clinical assessment. The Hamada and Fukuda classification was used for the radiographic assessment. The follow-up radiography series included an AP view in the three rotation positions, an AP view in maximum abduction to assess intraprosthetic mobility, a lateral view (Lamy) and measurements of both humeri. Several measurements were made to assess humerus lateralization and glenoid wear: deltoid lever arm, lateral humeral displacement, distance between the lateral border of the coracoid and the center of the glenoid and the subacromial space. Mean preoperative Constant score was 23 points: pain 3 pts, activity 5 pts, motion 13 pts, force 2 pts. Mean preoperative Swanson score was 11. Active anteflexion was 78 degrees, active abduction 68 degrees and passive external rotation 17 degrees. The Hamada and Fukuda classification was 9 grade 4 and 4 grade 5. All patients had a full thickness unrepairable rotator cuff tear: three with 2 tendon tears, and 10 with 3 tendon tears. All patients were reviewed clinically and had a complete radiography series at last follow-up (mean 28 months, range 7 - 56 months).

RESULTS: At last follow-up, the mean absolute Constant score was 37 points: pain 10 pts, activity 9 pts, motion 14 pts, force 4 pts. Mean Swanson score at last follow-up was 19 points. Mean active anteflexion was 69 degrees, active abduction was 63 degrees and passive external rotation was 29 degrees. A satisfactory deltoid lever arm had been achieved compensating the glenoid wear by a greater lateral displacement of the humerus. At last follow-up, there were no cases of humeral loosening but three cases with important glenoid wear were observed after two years. Comparing the results obtained using small cups (40 and 44) with arthroplasties using large cups (48 and 52) showed a trend favoring small cups: Constant score 43 vs 32 points, Swanson score 21 versus 17 points, anteflexion 72 degrees versus 66 degrees and passive external rotation 34 degrees versus 26 degrees.

DISCUSSION: Our results confirmed the efficacy of bipolar arthroplasty for pain relief, but the mobility outcome was less than satisfactory, excepting passive external rotation. It would appear to be preferable to use small cups. Comparing our results with data in the literature, particularly the better results for mobility using simple humeral prostheses, suggests that the principles of shoulder and hip arthroplasty concern different mechanisms: a sufficient deltoid lever arm must be achieved, but without overstretching the periarticular soft tissue (capsule, subcapsule, teres minor), and using a cup size close to the size of the healthy humeral head. Glenoid reaming should not be reserved only for asymmetrical glenoid wear in the horizontal plane.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that bipolar arthroplasty for excentered osteoarthritis of the glenoid cavity is indicated for: stiffness in external rotation, major concentric wear in patients under 65 years of age, or asymmetric glenoid wear.

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