Influence of sportive activity on functional and radiographic outcomes following reverse total shoulder arthroplasty: a comparative study

Stephanie Geyer, Jakob Siebler, Felipe Eggers, Lukas N. Münch, Daniel P. Berthold, Andreas B. Imhoff, Sebastian Siebenlist, Bastian Scheiderer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of the present study was to compare the functional and radiographic outcomes following reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) in a senior athletic and non-athletic population. Material and methods: In this retrospective cohort study, patients who underwent RTSA between 06/2013 and 04/2018 at a single institution were included. Minimum follow-up was 2 years. A standardized questionnaire was utilized for assessment of patients’ pre- and postoperative physical fitness and sportive activity. Patients who resumed at least one sport were assigned to the athletic group, while patients who ceased participating in sports were assigned to the non-athletic group. Postoperative clinical outcome measures included the Constant score (CS), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, Simple Shoulder Test (SST), and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain. Active shoulder range of motion (ROM) and abduction strength were assessed. Radiographic evaluation was based on a standardized core set of parameters for radiographic monitoring of patients following shoulder arthroplasty. Results: Sixty-one of 71 patients (85.9%; mean age: 72.1 ± 6.6 years) were available for clinical and radiographic follow-up at a mean of 47.1 ± 18.1 months. Thirty-four patients (55.7%) were assigned to the athletic group and 27 patients (44.3%) to the non-athletic group. The athletic group demonstrated significantly better results for CS (P = 0.002), ASES score (P = 0.001), SST (P = 0.001), VAS (P = 0.022), active external rotation (P = 0.045) and abduction strength (P = 0.016) compared to the non-athletic group. The overall rate of return to sport was 78.0% at an average of 5.3 ± 3.6 months postoperatively. Incomplete radiolucent lines (RLL) around the humeral component were found significantly more frequently in the athletic group compared to the non-athletic group (P = 0.019), whereas the occurrence of complete RLLs around the implant components was similar (P = 0.382). Scapular notching was observed in 18 patients (52.9%) of the athletic group and 12 patients (44.9%) of the non-athletic group (P = 0.51). The overall rate for revision surgery was 8.2%, while postoperative complications were encountered in 3.3% of cases. Conclusion: At mid-term follow-up, the athletic population demonstrated significantly better clinical results following RTSA without a higher rate of implant loosening and scapular notching when compared to non-athletic patients. However, incomplete radiolucency around the humeral component was observed significantly more often in the athletic group. Level of evidence: III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1809-1816
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Complications
  • Implant loosening
  • Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty
  • Scapular notching
  • Sports


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