Reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) is associated with high rates of midterm complications including scapular notching, implant wear, and mechanical impingement. Scapulo-humeral rhythm (SHR), described by Codman in the 1920's, is defined as the ratio of glenohumeral motion to scapulothoracic motion. SHR is used as an indicator of shoulder dysfunction, as alterations in SHR can have profound implications on shoulder biomechanics. The determination of SHR can be hindered by soft-tissue motion artifacts and high radiation burdens associated with traditional surface marker or fluoroscopic analysis. EOS low dose stereoradiographic imaging analysis utilizing 3D model construction from a 2D X-ray series may offer an alternative modality for characterizing SHR following RSA.
Patients (n=10) underwent an EOS imaging analysis to determine SHR at six and twelve months post-RSA. Leveraging 3D models of the implants, 2D/3D image registration methods were used to calculate relative glenohumeral and scapulothoracic positioning at 60, 90 and 120° of shoulder elevation. Subject-specific SHR curves were assessed and midterm changes in post-RSA SHR associated with follow-up time and motion phase were evaluated. Pearson correlations assessed associations between patient-specific factors and post-RSA SHR.
Mean post-RSA SHR was 0.81:1 across subjects during the entire midterm postoperative period. As a cohort, post-RSA SHR was more variable for 60-90° of shoulder motion. SHR for 90-120° of motion decreased (0.43:1) at twelve months post-RSA. Post-RSA SHR could be categorized using three relative motion curve patterns, and was not strongly associated with demographic factors such as BMI. 50% of subjects demonstrated a different SHR relative motion curve shape at twelve months post-RSA, and SHR during the 90120° of motion was found to generally decrease at twelve months.
Midterm post-RSA SHR was successfully evaluated using EOS technology, revealing lower SHR values (i.e., greater scapulothoracic motion) compared to normal values reported in the literature. SHR continued to change for some subjects during the midterm post-RSA period, with the greatest change during 90-120° of shoulder motion. Study findings suggest that future post RSA rehabilitation efforts to address elevated scapulothoracic motion may benefit from being patient-specific in nature and targeting scapular stabilization during 90-120° of shoulder motion. Level of Evidence: IV.