Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty and work-related outcomes
Return to Work
The average retirement age is increasing, and the indications for reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) are being broadened. The goal of the current study was to determine objective findings for rate of return to work and time to return to work after RTSA. The authors performed retrospective data collection for consecutive patients who underwent RTSA at their institution between 2007 and 2013. All patients were asked to complete a questionnaire about their work history and their ability to participate in work-related activities. A total of 40 patients reported working before surgery. Average patient age was 74.7 years (range, 56-82 years). Average follow-up was 2.6 years (range, 1-4.7 years). Average American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score improved from 34.0 to 81.7 (P<.001). Average visual analog scale pain score decreased from 6.5 to 0.7 (P<.001). Most patients (65.4%) classified their job as sedentary, 34.6% classified their job as light work, and no patients classified their job as heavy work. Of patients who worked preoperatively, 65% (n=26) returned to work after RTSA. Only a previous diagnosis of heart disease affected return to work (P=.04). Overall, average time to return to work was 2.3 months (range, 0.5-11 months). Patients with sedentary jobs returned to work more quickly (1.4 months) than those with light work (4.0 months). A total of 96.2% of patients reported good to excellent surgical outcomes. Of patients who worked before RTSA, 65% were still working at final follow-up. Only 5% of patients retired for reasons attributed to the operated shoulder. On average, patients returned to work less than 3 months after surgery.