Clinical and patient-reported outcomes of reverse shoulder arthroplasty in patients receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or workers’ compensation

Edward G. McFarland, Prashant Meshram, Matthew Binkley, Jacob Joseph, Gary W. Pushkin, Uma Srikumaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Evidence suggests that reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) patients receiving workers’ compensation (WC) have worse patient-reported outcomes (PROs) than those not receiving WC. It is unknown whether Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients also have worse outcomes of RSA. Our goals were to (1) compare PROs and range of motion (ROM) after RSA according to whether patients were receiving SSDI, WC, or neither form of assistance, and (2) identify factors associated with poor PROs. Methods: From a US institutional database of 454 patients who underwent RSA from January 2009 through December 2016, we identified 19 SSDI recipients and 25 WC recipients. From the same database, we created a control group of 81 patients not receiving SSDI or WC, matched by demographic variables. Between groups, we compared age, sex, operative arm dominance, preoperative diagnosis, number of previous shoulder surgeries, primary or revision arthroplasty, and Charlson Comorbidity Index value. Patients were evaluated preoperatively and at a minimum of 2 years postoperatively by physical examination, including range of motion, visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, L'Insalata score, Simple Shoulder Test (SST), and Western Ontario Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder (WOOS) score. Significance was set at P< .05. Clinical relevance of improvements in forward flexion and abduction, VAS for pain, ASES, and SST were evaluated using established minimal clinically important difference (MCID) values. Results: Both the SSDI and WC groups experienced statistically significant improvements from preoperatively to postoperatively; these improvements exceeded MCID thresholds for forward flexion and abduction, VAS for pain, ASES (except in WC group), and SST score (all, P< .05). These outcomes were not significantly different between the SSDI and WC groups. Compared with the control group, both the SSDI and WC groups had statistically significantly worse outcomes for these same measures. The only factor associated with poor clinical outcomes was having undergone ≥2 previous surgical procedures on the same shoulder for which RSA was performed in both SSDI (odds ratio = 2.4, 95% confidence interval: 1.0-5.4) and WC (odds ratio = 1.6, 95% confidence interval: 1.1-4.5) groups. Conclusion: Among RSA patients, SSDI recipients did not have worse clinical outcomes than WC recipients. Having undergone ≥2 previous procedures on the same shoulder was associated with poor outcomes in both groups. These findings should be considered when determining the appropriateness of RSA for SSDI and WC recipients. Level of evidence: Level III; Retrospective Cohort Comparison; Treatment Study

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-743
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Arthroplasty
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Long-term disability
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Reverse shoulder arthroplasty
  • Short-term disability
  • Social Security Disability Insurance
  • Workers’ compensation
  • clinical outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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