One of the original biomechanical principles of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) is medialization of the center of rotation (COR) relative to the native level of the glenoid. Several authors have proposed the lateralized center of rotation, which is characterized by a lateralized (L) glenoid and medialized (M) humeral component. The aim of this review is to compare the clinical and functional outcomes of COR in medialized (M-RTSA) and lateralized (L-RTSA) RTSA in patients with uniform indications and treatment through a meta-analysis. A PRISMA-guided literature search of PubMed, Medline, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Cochrane Clinical Answers was conducted from April to May 2021. Twenty-four studies were included in the qualitative synthesis, and 19 studies were included in the meta-analysis. Treatment with RTSA resulted in positive post-operative outcomes and low complication rates for both groups. Statistically relevant differences between L-RTSA group and M-RTSA group were found in post-operative improvement in external rotation with arm-at-side (20.4° and 8.3°, respectively), scapular notching rates (6.6% and 47.7%) and post-operative infection rates (1% and 7.7%). Both lateralized and medialized designs were shown to improve the postoperative outcomes. Nevertheless, a lateralized COR resulted in greater post-operative external rotation.

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