Revision of failed total shoulder arthroplasty

S. A. Petersen, R. J. Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The complexity of revision shoulder surgery remains a supreme challenge for the experienced shoulder surgeon. The difficulty of surgery is often accompanied by unpredictable patient cooperation during the postoperative rehabilitation program. Recognition of the problems associated with the failed shoulder arthroplasty is necessary for successful revision surgery. Numerous reconstructive techniques are necessary for restoration of soft tissue and bony deficiencies. Component revision is often necessary in treating component loosening or glenohumeral instability. Glenoid component removal may be necessary in the presence of severe rotator cuff insufficiency or marked glenoid bone deficiency. Humeral revision is most predictably treated with methylmethacrylate fixation. Humeral fractures associated with humeral arthroplasty are most successfully treated surgically, except in those instances where a long oblique or spiral fracture is not associated with prosthetic loosening. Deep infection is most predictably treated by extensive debridement, parenteral antibiotics, and delayed exchange of the components. The success of revision shoulder arthroplasty is often unpredictable, with 60% of revisions offering satisfactory pain relief and restoration of function. Critical to the success of revision arthroplasty is the status of the soft tissues, particularly the anterior deltoid and rotator cuff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-533
Number of pages15
JournalOrthopedic Clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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