Hemiarthroplasty versus total shoulder arthroplasty for shoulder osteoarthritis: A matched comparison of return to sports

Grant H. Garcia, Joseph N. Liu, Gregory T. Mahony, Alec Sinatro, Hao Hua Wu, Edward V. Craig, Russell F. Warren, David M. Dines, Lawrence V. Gulotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Return to activity is a commonly used indication for shoulder hemiarthroplasty (HA) compared with total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA). Despite clinical studies demonstrating better functional outcomes after TSA, the literature has failed to show a difference in return to sports. Purpose: To compare rates of return to sports in a matched cohort of TSA and HA patients with a preoperative diagnosis of glenohumeral osteoarthritis (OA). Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: A prospectively collected registry was queried retrospectively for consecutive patients who underwent HA. Inclusion criteria were preoperative diagnosis of OA and more than 2 years of follow-up. After meeting the inclusion criteria, all HA patients were statistically matched to a TSA patient. All patients had end-stage OA with significant glenohumeral joint space narrowing. Results: At final follow-up, 40 HA patients and 40 TSA patients were available. The average (±SD) age at surgery was 65.7 ± 10.5 years and 66.2 ± 9.6 years for the HA and TSA groups, respectively (P =.06). Average follow-up was 62.0 months and 61.1 months for the HA and TSA groups, respectively (P =.52). Average American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons scores improved from 36.3 to 70.2 for HA patients and from 34.0 to 78.5 for TSA patients (P <.001 for both); final scores were not significantly different between groups (P =.21). Average visual analog scale pain scores improved from 6.3 to 2.2 for HA patients and from 6.1 to 0.6 for TSA patients (P <.001 for both). HA patients had significantly worse final visual analog scale scores compared with the TSA group (P =.002). Significantly more TSA patients were satisfied with their surgery compared with HA patients (100% vs 70%) (P =.01). Of both groups, 65.5% of HA patients (19 of 29) returned to at least 1 sport postoperatively compared with 97.3% of TSA patients (36 of 37) (P <.001). Average timing for return to full sports was 5.5 ± 4.2 months and 5.4 ± 3.1 months for the HA and TSA groups, respectively (P =.92). Significantly more TSA patients returned to higher upper extremity use sports (P =.01). Conclusion: In patients with OA, rate of return to sports was significantly better after TSA compared with HA. HA patients had significantly more pain, worse surgical satisfaction, and decreased ability to return to high upper extremity use sports. For patients with OA who wish to return to sporting activities, these results help manage expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1417-1422
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • hemiarthroplasty
  • osteoarthritis
  • sports
  • total shoulder arthroplasty


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