Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery vol:20 pages:1224-1233
29th Annual meeting of the European Bone and Joint Infection Society location:Heidelberg, Germany date:2-4 September
HYPOTHESIS: Resection arthroplasty can be performed for recalcitrant shoulder infection. It is unclear whether a spacer has any benefit. We hypothesized that spacers would increase infection control and improve clinical results. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-one patients were evaluated retrospectively at a mean follow-up of 46.4 months: 11 patients did not receive a spacer (group A), and 10 patients did receive a spacer (group B). Patients were assessed clinically and with radiographs. Patients were scored using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Constant-Murley Score (CMS), Simple Shoulder Test, and Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and Hand. RESULTS: Infection was eradicated in 19 patients without additional surgery. Two patients had elevated C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate and were considered to have low-grade infections. Neither patient received a spacer and had not been revised. Infectious control was not significantly different between group A and group B (P = .48). Fourteen patients found the result good or acceptable. The VAS decreased from 6.5 to 2.6. The CMS increased significantly from 17.8 to 40.4. Active abduction averaged 78.1° and active flexion averaged 85.5°. External rotation was 21.0°. DISCUSSION: No significant difference was shown between group A and group B. Preservation of the tuberosities was identified as a prognosticator for a good result. Unacceptable pain resulted in 5 patients with a spacer undergoing delayed reimplantation of a prosthesis. CONCLUSION: Resection arthroplasty can be offered to patients with long-standing deep shoulder infection that was unresponsive to previous surgical treatment. Control of infection did not differ significantly between the groups. No improvement in outcome was demonstrated with the use of cement spacers.