Outcomes of shoulder replacement in humeral head avascular necrosis

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Background: This retrospective review evaluated 25 patients with 29 shoulders treated with arthroplasty for humeral head avascular necrosis (HHAVN) between 2004 and 2015. We hypothesized that regardless of implant, radiographic stage, or etiology, patients would appreciate significant improvement in pain, range of motion, and shoulder functionality after surgical intervention. Methods: Data were obtained by record review on all patients meeting inclusion criteria. Outcomes were evaluated using Simple Shoulder Test, Modified Constant Score, University of California Los Angeles Shoulder Rating Scale, and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form. The data were assessed by all patients and subcategories (treatment, avascular necrosis stage, and underlying cause). Results: At a mean follow-up of 3.9 years (range, 1-8.5 years), all patients who underwent operative intervention for HHAVN showed statistically significant improvement in functionality measurements (P <.01). Patients who underwent total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) noted higher median outcome scores and greater improvement in all scoring methods compared with their hemiarthroplasty counterparts. The high-stage disease shoulders showed similar trends over low-stage counterparts. The shoulders in the trauma causal group had the highest scores in 3 of 4 outcome measures and favorable change in all scoring methods. These differences were not statistically significant (P >.05). No revision arthroplasties were required. Minor complications (suture abscess and intraoperative calcar fracture requiring cabling) occurred in 2 TSA patients. Conclusions: Our outcomes demonstrate that in the short- to midterm follow-up, TSA or hemiarthroplasty is a safe and equally effective treatment for patients diagnosed with HHAVN regardless of etiology and radiographic staging.




Ristow, J. J., Ellison, C. M., Mickschl, D. J., Berg, K. C., Haidet, K. C., Gray, J. R., & Grindel, S. I. (2019). Outcomes of shoulder replacement in humeral head avascular necrosis. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 28(1), 9–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jse.2018.06.031

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