Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement
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. A conventional replacement device also uses the rotator cuff muscles to function properly. In a patient with a large rotator cuff tear and cuff tear arthropathy, these muscles no longer function. The reverse total shoulder replacement allows other muscles — such as the deltoid — to do the work of the damaged rotator cuff tendons.
Candidates for Surgery
Reverse total shoulder replacement may be recommended if you have:
- A completely torn rotator cuff that cannot be repaired
- Cuff tear arthropathy
- A previous shoulder replacement that was unsuccessful
- Severe shoulder pain and difficulty lifting your arm away from your side or over your head
- Tried other treatments, such as rest, medications, cortisone injections, and physical therapy, that have not relieved shoulder pain
The reverse total shoulder replacement procedure usually takes about 2 hours to perform.
Your surgeon will make an incision either on the front or the top of your shoulder. The surgeon will remove the damaged bone and then position the new components (a metal ball that is screwed into the shoulder socket, and the plastic cup that is secured into the upper arm bone) to restore function to your shoulder.