McMaster University

McMaster University

Indications and outcomes of shoulder arthroscopy after arthroplasty

We are pleased to share with you a recent publication in The Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. This publication is entitled "Indications and outcomes of shoulder arthroscopy after shoulder arthroplasty".

Please find access to the full-version of the article click here.

Horner NS, de Sa D, Heaven S, Simunovic N, Bedi A, Athwal GS, Ayeni OR. Indications and outcomes of shoulder arthroscopy after shoulder arthroplasty. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2015 December;doi:10.1016/j.jse.2015.09.013.


Arthroscopy is a widely used intervention in the treatment of a variety of shoulder conditions. Arthroscopy has also been selectively used in symptomatic patients after shoulder arthroplasty. The purpose of this systematic review was to determine indications for shoulder arthroscopy in patients after shoulder arthroplasty and to report patient outcomes after these procedures.

Materials and methods
The electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed were searched and screened in duplicate for studies involving shoulder arthroscopy in shoulder arthroplasty patients. A full-text review of eligible studies was conducted in duplicate, and references were searched using predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria.

The review included 11 studies containing 84 patients. All were Level IV evidence. The most common indications for shoulder arthroscopy in the setting of shoulder arthroplasty were pain or loss of range of motion without a clear diagnosis, suspected periprosthetic infection, and rotator cuff assessment. Although 92% of patients were satisfied with the procedure and standardized shoulder scores increased in all studies that reported them, 44% of patients still went on to additional revision surgery after arthroscopy.

Shoulder arthroscopy in patients after arthroplasty is most frequently used as a diagnostic tool; however, it has utility in treating a number of predetermined pathologies. Despite the low sample size and quality of evidence in our review, patient satisfaction after arthroscopy is high because standardized outcome scores improve, and the risk of complications is low. However, a high percentage of patients who receive arthroscopy later require further surgery.

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