Arthroscopy for failed shoulder arthroplasty.

By:Hersch JC, Dines DM|Date: August 21, 2017|Source: Arthroscopy. 2000 Sep;16(6):606-12

Arthroscopy for failed shoulder arthroplasty.



It was the purpose of this study to describe the specifics of technique and results of arthroscopic evaluation and treatment of failedshoulder arthroplasties in 10 patients with early and late complications of shoulder arthroplasty.


Case series.


Ten patients (2 bilateral) underwent 13 arthroscopies after poor results following shoulder arthroplasty. The arthroscopic diagnoses ranged from rotator cuff tears in 5 shoulders, fibrosis and scarring of the long head of the biceps in 5 shoulders, impingement and biceps tendinitis in 1 shoulder, and capsular contracture in 1 shoulder. We performed 4 mini-open rotator cuff repairs, 1 open rotator cuff repair with revision of the humeral component, 5 arthroscopic debridements of the long head of the biceps, 2 arthroscopic decompressions with biceps tenodesis, and 1 arthroscopic capsular release.


Before arthroscopy, the preoperative Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) scores were 6 fair and 6 poor. At latest follow-up, there were 3 excellent, 4 good, and 5 fair results. There was a statistically significant improvement in HSS scores and range of motion for all patients in this study. All patients were satisfied with the results of the procedure. There were no infections or wound problems and neurovascular status was unaltered after arthroscopy. There was 1 intraoperative complication, a periprosthetic humerus fracture after manipulation in an osteoporotic woman with rheumatoid arthritis.


Arthroscopy proved to be a reliable diagnostic and therapeutic tool in dealing with some of the postoperative complications encountered both early and late after shoulder arthroplasty. Careful attention to surgical technique, including use of blunt trocars, traction, and intraoperative prophylactic antibiotics, can minimize complications of arthroscopy in this setting.