The Reverse Shoulder Replacement is designed to be used for patients without a functioning rotator cuff.
This procedure offers these patients an excellent treatment option to provide them with significant pain relief and improved function.
What Is a Reverse Shoulder Replacement?
In a reverse shoulder replacement, we actually flip (or reverse) the shoulder joint’s ball and socket. We take the ball from the humeral head side, and we put that on the socket. Then we put the socket on the ball side.
We’re basically creating a more stable construct that almost looks like a hip replacement.
The situation where we pursue reverse shoulder replacement is when somebody doesn’t have a functioning rotator cuff.
What Does a Reverse Shoulder Replacement Look Like?
A reverse shoulder replacement looks very different than your normal shoulder. Basically, the ball, which is a metal ball, is on the glenoid side. And then the socket is on the humeral side.
So, it’s just the opposite in terms of where the ball and socket are in a healthy shoulder, or an anatomic shoulder replacement.
It is very obvious when you at an x-ray.
How Long Is Recovery From Reverse Shoulder Replacement?
Reverse shoulders actually recover quicker than your anatomical shoulders, primarily because it’s a very stable joint, to begin with.
Often, I’ll remove a sling as early as three weeks and let patients start moving.
But just like any shoulder surgery, full recovery still takes about a year. However, I’d say that better than 90% of patients feel better than they were before having surgery around three months post-op.
How Long Does Pain Last After Reverse Shoulder Replacements?
After surgery, patients typically go from being in constant pain to reporting little to no pain at all within weeks of undergoing the procedure.
I think this is really because many shoulder patients have so much pain that they’ve learned to live with. And then not having that pain is a relief.
Additionally, they have dramatic improvements in function.
How Effective Are Reverse Shoulder Replacements?
Reverse shoulder replacements are extremely effective. They do an excellent job of eliminating pain and improving function in properly selected patients.
Many patients cannot lift their arm above shoulder height before the procedure and can elevate fully overhead after the surgery.