Comparison of 30-day complications between reverse shoulder arthroplasty and open reduction internal fixation for the treatment of proximal humerus fractures

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



European journal of orthopaedic surgery & traumatology : orthopedie traumatologie




Complication profile; Open reduction internal fixation; Proximal humerus fractures; Reverse shoulder arthroplasty


PURPOSE: While the use of open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) has remained stable over the last decade, there has been a significant increase in the use of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) for proximal humerus fractures (PHFs). This study sought to compare the complication profiles of RTSA to ORIF in a large, validated, retrospective cohort. METHODS: Patients who underwent surgical treatment for PHFs with RTSA or ORIF were identified in a national database (NSQIP) using CPT and ICD codes. Demographics and comorbidities were identified for each cohort of patients. Thirty-day complications were analyzed with univariate and multivariate analyses using Chi-square, Fischer's exact and analysis of variance testing. RESULTS: The total number of patients included in this study was 2157.522 (24.2%) underwent RTSA and 1635 (75.8%) underwent ORIF. Patients undergoing RTSA were older with an average age of 73.52 years compared with 63.84 years in those undergoing ORIF (p < 0.001). Patients with RTSA were more likely to experience any complications (p < 0.001), pulmonary complications (p = 0.029), extended length of stay > 3 days (p < 0.001), and perioperative transfusion requirement (p < 0.001) after univariate analysis. After controlling for demographic differences, the only statistically significant complication was perioperative transfusion requirement (OR 1.383). CONCLUSION: After controlling for demographic variables and comorbidities, RTSA placed patients at increased risk for perioperative blood transfusion. Patients undergoing RTSA should be counseled prior to surgery regarding the risk for transfusion and potentially optimized medically through multidisciplinary care if the surgeon elects to proceed with RTSA versus ORIF for the treatment of PHFs.


Orthopaedic Surgery