What is Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

For patients who suffer from a complex type of shoulder arthritis called “rotator cuff tear arthropathy,” those who have an irreparable large rotator cuff tear, or those who have undergone other shoulder replacement surgeries without success, a reverse total shoulder replacement may be considered.

Often considered as a last resort for patients, a reverse total shoulder replacement is a variation of the traditional shoulder replacement procedure. The surgery involves switching the position of the prosthetic socket and metal ball, attaching the metal ball to the shoulder bone, and the artificial socket to the upper arm bone.

Who is a Good Candidate for Reverse Shoulder Replacement?

Not everyone with a rotator cuff injury or tear needs reverse shoulder surgery. In fact, only in the more extreme cases is a reverse shoulder replacement recommended.

The procedure is often performed for people with a massive rotator cuff tear who cannot rely on the rotator cuff muscles hardly at all for restoring a healthy range of motion. This is because by reversing the location of the artificial ball and socket joints, the shoulder joint is forced to use different muscles to move and position the arm.

This is why the best candidates for this joint replacement surgery are those who have severe damage to the rotator cuff tendons or who have had previous shoulder replacement surgery that wasn’t fully successful. In general, good candidates for shoulder replacements are in generally good health and have no underlying conditions that make them high-risk for this surgery.

Recovery from Reverse Shoulder Surgery

Reverse shoulder replacement surgery typically takes about one hour and is performed under general anesthesia. Patients can expect a short hospital stay. The arm will be immobilized in a sling for up to six weeks. Some pain, discomfort, and limited mobility should be expected for a few weeks after surgery.

Participation in physical therapy is important to help strengthen and restore the shoulder’s mobility following rotator cuff tears and shoulder surgery. Dr. Goldberg’s practice recommends a rehab protocol that encourages patients to perform specific exercises the first day after surgery and start physical therapy within a week of their operation. Implementing a rehab plan such as this enables patients to return more quickly to their daily activities.

Rotator Cuff Treatments in Naples, FL

When experience matters, contact Dr. Goldberg to assess and determine the best treatment options for your rotator cuff injury. He has performed over 2,000 shoulder arthroscopic procedures, making him one of the most experienced surgeons in the Southwest Florida area. Schedule an appointment by contacting us online or calling our office today!