1. Hurd, Wendy J. PT, PhD
  2. Morrow, Melissa M. PhD
  3. Miller, Emily J. MS
  4. Adams, Robert A. OPA-C
  5. Sperling, John W. MD
  6. Kaufman, Kenton R. PhD


Background and Purpose: Documenting functional outcomes after reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) is critical to advancing patient care. The interplay been self-reported and objectively measured outcome measures has not been widely described. The utilization of wearable devices to document upper extremity limb activity is a new approach for objectively measuring outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in pain, and self-reported function and objectively measured limb activity after RSA. We also assessed the influence of pain on self-reported function and objectively measured limb activity to determine the impact of pain on outcomes after RSA.


Materials: This study implemented a prospective, repeated-measures design. Fourteen patients undergoing RSA underwent testing before surgery, and 2 and 12 months after surgery. Patient-reported instruments included pain, Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and hands (DASH), and physical component summary (PCS) of the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey. Objective limb activity (mean activity value, m/s2/min epoch; inactive time, %; low activity, %; and high activity, %) was captured with triaxial accelerometers worn on the upper and lower arm. A repeated-measures ANOVA tested for differences across time. The Spearman rank-order correlation was calculated to evaluate the influence of pain on DASH, PCS scores, and mean limb activity.


Results: Patient-reported measures improved after surgery (pain, P < .01; DASH, P < .01; PCS, P = .01). No change in limb activity was found at 1 year compared with preoperative values for mean (forearm, P = 1.00; arm, P = .36), inactivity (forearm, P = .33; arm, P = .22), low (forearm, P = .77; arm, P = .11) or high (forearm, P = 1.00; arm, P = .20) activity. There was a relationship between pain and DASH scores 1 year after surgery (P = .04) but not before surgery (P = .16), or 2 months after surgery (P = .30). There was no relationship between pain and PCS scores at any time point (preoperative, P = .97; 2 months, P = .21; 1 year, P = .08) nor pain and limb activity (forearm: preoperative, P = .36; 2 months, P = .67; 1 year, P = .16; arm: preoperative, P = .97; 2 months, P = .59; 1 year, P = .51).


Conclusions: RSA reduced pain and enhanced patient-perceived function. Objectively measured upper extremity limb activity is not different 1 year after surgery compared with preoperative levels.


Level of Evidence: III.