Which is Better for the Patient: Partial or Total Shoulder Replacement?Which one gives a better quality-of-life? Doctors from the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic in Ontario, Canada looked at this question from the patient's point of view.
All patients in the study had osteoarthritis. Conservative treatment had been tried for at least six months before surgery was done to replace the joint. Patients were assessed before the operation and again at three, six, 12, 18, and 24 months later.
Measures used included pain, motion, and quality of life (QOL). QOL included satisfaction with results, symptoms, and lifestyle. The authors report no differences in QOL between the two groups after two years. Patients with hemiarthroplasty (partial shoulder replacement) and patients with total shoulder replacement both had improved QOL.
Most studies report results important to the surgeon. The authors say this study is different because it reports results important to patients.
Ian K. Y. Lo, MD, FRCSC, et al. Quality-of-Life Outcome Following Hemiarthroplasty or Total Shoulder Arthroplasty in Patients with Osteoarthritis. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. October 2005. Vol. 87-A. No. 10. Pp. 2178-2185.
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