Shoulder arthroplasty is a very successful procedure that places significant technical demands on the surgeon. Complications, such as neural injury and postoperative fracture, have been reported in the literature. In this article, I describe 2 cases of axillary artery thrombosis that occurred after humeral resurfacing arthroplasty.
Case 1 involved a 59-year-old woman who underwent humeral resurfacing arthroplasty. In the immediate postoperative period, a vascular insult was diagnosed by decreased radial pulse and perfusion. Immediate retrograde angiography revealed occlusion of the axillary artery near the level of the prosthesis. Retrograde balloon thrombectomy removed an arterial thrombus and circulation was restored. Case 2 involved a 64-year-old woman with a latent decrease in radial pulse amplitude after humeral resurfacing. Unsuccessful balloon thrombectomy necessitated a reverse saphenous vein bypass graft.