Bone resorption following total reverse shoulder replacement

Posted by rosemaried @rosemaried, Aug 8, 2021

I had a total reverse shoulder replacement done in Oct. 2020. At 5 months post-op I was doing well & had very good range of motion. Then in April I began having intense pain in my arm & suddenly lost ROM. PT did not help. I was finally diagnosed with a stress fracture in my shoulder & immobilized until it healed. But the pain & decreased ROM have continued. Now my x-rays show bone resorption in the humerus around the stem implant ( something called stress shielding). My ortho dr is stating I will need a bone graph. Has anyone else had this complication? Did you have a bone graph & was it successful? Unfortunately, I also have osteopenia & was started on Fosamax 6 weeks ago. Would appreciate any helpful advice.

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Hi @rosemaried and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. 5 months of doing well and then suddenly going down hill so quickly must have been very difficult.
There is some information that I found below that might be useful for you to read.

Bone graft:
https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/surgery/bone-graft
Reverse hemiarthroplasty? What happens when a patient forgoes the second stage of a 2-stage glenoid bone graft reconstruction in revision shoulder arthroplasty: a report of 3 cases:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6340856/
In April, did you do anything strenuous to cause the pain? moving in a different manner? Maybe an activity that you don't normally do?

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Thank you for your reply, Amanda. Back in April I was simply using my arm for self-care & household chores. I did make my first long distance trip (4 hrs) & it was after that when I first felt symptoms. Did that precipitate the stress fracture? Or was it the increased load that my deltoid was placing on my shoulder in general?
Regardless, the fracture healed but now I’m dealing with bone resorption. I was hoping to hear from someone who has had a similar problem after shoulder replacement. Was bone graphing successful? I’m also questioning if being on Fosamax will interfere with my bone healing if I have surgery.

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