Neuroapraxia and Early Complications After Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty with Glenoid Bone Grafting

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Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery


Background: Bone grafting during primary reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) is a technique used to restore poor glenoid bone, increase lateralization, and restore abnormal inclination or version. The purpose of this article is to analyze early outcomes of bone grafting during RSA, assessing the influence of technical and patient considerations.

Methods: In a 4.5-year time period, 137 RSAs with glenoid bone grafting were performed with a minimum 3 months' follow-up. The mean follow-up was 17 months (range, 3-38). The mean age was 71 years (range, 45-89), and body mass index was 28 (range, 19-44). The source of the autografts were humeral head (n = 113) and iliac crest autograft (ICBG; n = 24). The humeral components included 84 onlay and 53 inlay designs.

Results: Overall, there were 16 complications (12%), of which 6 were major (5%) (3 graft nonunions and 3 infections) and 10 minor (8%) (1 carpal tunnel syndrome and 9 transient axillary neuropraxias). Of the 9 axillary neuropraxias, 8 resolved by the most recent follow-up, whereas 1 patient was lost to follow-up. There were 4 reoperations (3%): 2 for glenoid baseplate loosening, 1 for severe notching associated with severe glenoid bone loss, and 1 for deep periprosthetic infection. One additional patient had a baseplate failure and is undergoing further treatment. There was no difference in the occurrence of graft nonunions, revision surgery, or glenoid component loosening when comparing type of graft or humeral component used. There was an association of revision surgery (P = .02) with ICBG and older age at the time of surgery (P = .02) and an association of transient neuroapraxia with onlay humeral components (P = .01) and workers' compensation cases (P = .04).

Conclusions: There is a high union rate and low complication rate after bone grafting of the glenoid performed with RSA. Transient neuropraxias are the most frequent complication, but the majority resolve within the first postoperative year. These early findings can serve as the basis for future long-term, comprehensive analysis of complications and outcomes after bone grafting during RSA.



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BIO-RSA, Reverse shoulder arthroplasty, bony increased offset, glenoid bone graft, lateralization, lateralized glenoid