The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients who underwent reverse total shoulder arthroplasty performed for primary glenohumeral osteoarthritis (GHOA) with an intact rotator cuff compared with rotator cuff tear arthropathy (CTA).

This was a retrospective review of prospectively collected data including consecutive patients who underwent primary reverse total shoulder arthroplasty for GHOA or CTA with a minimum of 2-year follow-up. Baseline patient demographics and clinical outcomes including active range of motion, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, Single Assessment Numerical Evaluation, and visual analog scale for pain were collected. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to evaluate the effect of preoperative diagnosis on clinical outcomes.

Patients with a preoperative diagnosis of GHOA demonstrated significantly better postoperative active forward elevation (138.6° versus 127.3°; P < 0.01), external rotation (54.2° versus 43.8°; P < 0.01), and change in internal rotation (Δ 2.1 points versus Δ 1.2 points; P < 0.01). Patients with GHOA demonstrated significantly better postoperative ASES (86.8 versus 76.6; P < 0.01), Single Assessment Numerical Evaluation (89.7 versus 78.5; P < 0.01), and visual analog scale scores (0.63 versus 1.2; P < 0.01). Minimal clinically important difference for ASES score was achieved by 97.5% of patients with GHOA compared with 86.7% of patients with CTA (P < 0.01), whereas substantial clinical benefit was achieved by 90.4% of patients with GHOA and 71.7% of patients with CTA (P < 0.01). After a multivariate linear regression analysis, postoperative ASES scores were independently associated with previous ipsilateral shoulder surgery (P = 0.042), preoperative ASES score (P = 0.01), and primary diagnosis of GHOA (P < 0.01).

RTSA performed in patients with GHOA and an intact rotator cuff is associated with improved functional and clinical outcomes compared with those patients treated for CTA.

Level III Therapeutic Study.