A reverse total shoulder replacement works better for people with cuff tear arthropathy because it relies on different muscles to move the arm. In a healthy shoulder, the rotator cuff muscles help position and power the arm during range of motion.
In a reverse total shoulder replacement, the socket and metal ball are switched. The metal ball is fixed to the socket and the plastic cup is fixed to the upper end of the humerus. The reverse total shoulder replacement relies on the deltoid muscle, instead of the rotator cuff, to power and position the arm.
Reverse total shoulder replacement may be recommended if you have:
Reverse total shoulder replacement is a highly technical procedure. Your surgeon will evaluate your particular situation carefully and discuss the risks of surgery with you.
Risks for any surgery include bleeding, nerve damage, and infection. Complications specific to a total joint replacement include wear, loosening, or dislocation of the components. If any of these occur, the new shoulder joint may need to be revised, or reoperated on.
Medications are often prescribed for short-term pain relief after surgery. Many types of medicines are available to help manage pain, including opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and local anesthetics.
When you leave the hospital, your arm will be in a sling. Your surgeon may instruct you to do gentle range of motion exercises to increase your mobility and endurance. A formal physical therapy program may also be recommended to strengthen your shoulder and improve flexibility.