Outcomes of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty following subacromial balloon spacer implantation

Dani Rotman*, Omer Avraham, Omer Maman, Robert P. Piggott, Efi Kazum, Ofir Chechik, Eran Maman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Subacromial balloon spacer implantation can be used in the treatment of irreparable rotator cuff tears; but in cases of treatment failure reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) may be indicated. The effect of a previously performed subacromial balloon implantation on the outcomes of a subsequent RTSA is unknown. Methods: A single-center retrospective matched cohort study was performed on patients with a history of subacromial balloon spacer implantation who subsequently underwent RTSA in the same shoulder between 2010 and 2021 (Balloon group). A control group of patients who underwent RTSA for irreparable cuff tear/cuff tear arthropathy during the same time period without prior subacromial balloon implantation history was identified and matched by the number of previous rotator cuff repair surgeries and age (No Balloon group). The minimum follow-up was 1 year. Data collected included range of motion, subjective shoulder value, visual analog scale for pain, Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (QDASH) score, and the proportion of patients achieving patient acceptable symptomatic state (PASS). Results: Thirty cases were included, equally distributed between the two groups. The mean follow-up was 46 ± 23 months without significant differences between groups. The Balloon group included only male patients, whereas the No Balloon group comprised of 47% female patients. The Balloon group had a less advanced arthritic disease as evidenced by a lower Hamada grade compared to the No Balloon group (P =.03). There were no significant differences in preoperative or postoperative range of motion between groups, with an average forward flexion increase of 39° and no gain in rotations. Patient-reported outcomes were comparable between groups: visual analog scale, 4.7 vs. 3.3; subjective shoulder value, 50 vs. 64; and QDASH, 65 vs. 49 (all P >.05). There were four (27%) postoperative complications leading to reintervention in the Balloon group and one (7%) in the No Balloon group (P =.15). Conclusion: In this preliminary study, patients undergoing RTSA for irreparable cuff tear/cuff tear arthropathy had comparable outcomes irrespective of a history of previous subacromial balloon spacer implantation. Further studies in a larger population are indicated to examine the trend toward inferior patient-reported outcomes observed in this small series.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-699
Number of pages5
JournalSeminars in Arthroplasty JSES
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Balloon spacer
  • Cuff tear arthropathy
  • Level III
  • Retrospective Case Control Study
  • Reverse shoulder arthroplasty
  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Subacromial balloon


Dive into the research topics of 'Outcomes of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty following subacromial balloon spacer implantation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this