Background: Shoulder arthrodesis is a unique procedure, which has shifted from a well-established procedure for osteoarthritis to a salvage procedure. In the present retrospective study, functional outcome and morbidity in shoulder arthrodesis using combined plate/screw fixation versus screw fixation alone were evaluated. Materials and Methods: Shoulder arthrodesis was performed on 28 shoulders: 16 cases with only cancellous screws and 12 cases with combined plate/screw fixation. At a mean follow-up of 6.8 years (range 1 years to 20.4 years), patients were invited for clinical follow-up, with evaluations of visual analogue scale for pain, function and satisfaction, Constant–Murley scores, and recorded complications. Results: All patients had severe limitations in the use of their shoulder, although they had little pain and were satisfied. The overall Constant–Murley score increased significantly from 33.4 to 52.2. In eight cases with combined plate/screw arthrodesis and nine with screw arthrodesis, there was persistent pain, which resolved after removal of osteosynthesis material. Non-union was only found in five patients with screw arthrodesis. Conclusions: Although the risk of a second operation for removal of osteosynthesis material in combined plate/screw arthrodesis is equal to screw fixation alone, for complete glenohumeral fusion, a combined plate/screw fixation appears to be superior to screw fixation alone.

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Shoulder and Elbow
Department of Orthopaedics

Bosmans, B. (Bas), Van Der List, M. (Maarten), Gosens, T., & Verhaar, J. (2012). Shoulder Arthrodesis: Functional Outcome and Morbidity after Combined Plate/screw Fixation versus Screw Fixation Alone. Shoulder and Elbow, 4(2), 106–111. doi:10.1111/j.1758-5740.2011.00174.x