Glenosphere size in reverse shoulder arthroplasty: is larger better for external rotation and abduction strength?


The role of glenosphere size in reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) may be important in prosthetic stability, joint kinematics, rotator cuff tension and excursion, scapular impingement, humeral lateralization, deltoid wrap, and the occurrence of “notching.” This study compared short- and midterm clinical and radiographic outcomes for 2 different glenosphere sizes of a single RSA type with respect to implant positioning, glenoid size, and morphology.


This retrospective analysis included 68 RSA procedures that were prospectively documented in a local register during a 5-year postoperative period. Two glenosphere diameter sizes of 36 mm (n = 33) and 44 mm (n = 35) were used. Standard radiographs were made preoperatively (ie, baseline) and at 6, 12, 24, and 60 months after surgery. Range of motion, strength, the Constant-Murley score, and the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index were also assessed at all follow-up visits. The effect of glenosphere size on measured outcomes was adjusted for baseline values, patient gender, and humeral head diameter.


No significant differences were found in the functional scores between treatment groups at all follow-up assessments. At the 12-month follow-up, patients with a 44-mm glenosphere had greater external rotation in adduction (mean difference, 12°; P = .001) and abduction strength (mean difference, 1.4 kg; P = .026) compared with those with the smaller implant. These differences remained at 60 months. Scapular notching was observed in 38% of all patients, without any relevant difference between the groups.


An increase in glenosphere diameter leads to a clinically moderate but significant increase in external rotation in adduction and abduction strength at midterm follow-up.

Geplaatst door: Paul van der Tas op: 1 augustus 2017