Journal article

Effect of a pathological scapular tilt after total shoulder arthroplasty

Total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) is an accepted and most successfully used treatment for different shoulder pathologies. Different risk factors for the failure of the prosthesis are known. A pathological scapular orientation, observed in elderly people or in patients suffering from neuromuscular diseases, could be a cause of failure, which has not been investigated yet. To test this hypothesis, a numerical musculoskeletal model of the glenohumeral joint was used to compare two TSA cases: a reference normal case and a case with a pathological anterior tilt of the scapula. An active abduction of 1508 was simulated. Joint force, contact pattern, polyethylene and cement stress were evaluated for both cases. The pathological tilt slightly increased the joint force and the contact pressure, but also shifted the contact pattern. This eccentric contact increased the stress level within the polyethylene of the glenoid component and within the surrounding cement layer. This adverse effect occurred mainly during the first 608 of abduction. Therefore, a pathological orientation of the scapula may increase the risk of a failure of the cement layer around the glenoid component. These preliminary numerical results should be confirmed by a clinical study.

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