The role of reverse shoulder arthroplasty in management of proximal humerus fractures with fracture sequelae: a systematic review of the literature

Fracture sequelae of the proximal humerus poses a complex management decision due to the frequent deformity and its consequences on the peri-articular soft tissues. These patients are frequently elderly with significant medical comorbidities. Due to the age of the patient there is frequently rotator cuff deficiency and therefore the reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) becomes the arthroplasty of choice. We have performed a systematic review of the literature and report nine studies presenting RSA for the treatment of fracture sequelae of the proximal humerus. It is clear that RSA can improve the range of movement and function following proximal humerus fracture sequelae. However, there is a risk of significant complications including dislocation (16.7%), infection (6.7%), intra-operative fracture (3%) and neurological injury (2.6%). There is a need to invest in future prospective comparative studies and randomised trials to further test RSA in fracture sequelae patients. This will provide us with information regarding the longevity of different prosthesis, outcomes and costeffectiveness of treatment.

(Orthopedic Reviews 2017; volume 9:6977:27-31.)