A new study using data from the National Joint Registry compares two types of shoulder replacement surgeries for osteoarthritis patients

Data from the National Joint Registry (NJR) has provided valuable insight on the debate surrounding two types of shoulder replacement surgeries. Published in May 2024 in the BMJ and funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), a new study analyses and compares outcomes after reverse total shoulder replacement (RTSR) and anatomical total shoulder replacement (TSR) for osteoarthritis (OA) patients aged 60 or older with intact rotator cuff tendons.

Traditionally, TSR has been the preferred practice for OA patients. However, in recent times, RTSR has gained popularity, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) identified this as a key research priority. Researchers from NDORMS, University of Oxford, set out to provide high-quality evidence to help address this uncertainty. Using patient outcome data from the registry and from hospitals, the study analysed over 12,000 patients between 2012 and 2020. It compared outcomes between RTSR and TSR for: revision surgery, serious adverse events, reoperations, hospital stay duration, and lifetime costs.

The study showed that while TSR had a higher risk of revision surgery in the first three years, there was no significant difference in the longer term and both procedures were equally safe for patients. Research studies such as these provide invaluable insights for patients and surgeons whilst supporting informed decision-making for patients undergoing shoulder replacement surgery. More than 8,000 shoulder replacements are performed every year in the UK and those volumes are rising. The NJR’s comprehensive data collection and analyses such as this serve as an important resource for enhancing patient outcomes and elevating patient safety across orthopaedic specialties.

You can read more about the research study here.

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