Oncologic reconstruction of the proximal humerus with a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty megaprosthesis.

Grosel TW, Plummer DR, Mayerson JL, Scharschmidt TJ, Barlow JD
J Surg Oncol 118 867-872 11/01/2018


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Both malignant and benign tumors of the proximal humerus may necessitate resection of a substantial portion of the proximal humerus, making reconstruction options challenging. While hemiarthroplasty has been a classic treatment, reverse total shoulder replacement may provide better pain relief and function for these patients.

METHODS: We utilize a two-surgeon approach for these challenging cases. The orthopedic oncologist resects the tumor. A shoulder-trained surgeon implants the reverse shoulder replacement. Modern implants, with large glenospheres and modular components, can allow reliable, straightforward reconstructions for these patients. We prefer 6 weeks of postoperative immobilization to decrease the risk of instability.

RESULTS: We have completed 13 reverse total shoulder replacements for oncologic shoulder resections, with acceptable clinical outcomes and no complications to date.

CONCLUSION: Reverse total shoulder replacement with long-stem, modular components can reliably and reproducibly reconstruct the shoulder in patients with oncologic resections of the proximal humerus.

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