Shoulder pain is one of the most common complaints that people visiting their doctor make. Trouble with an aching shoulder can become unbearable over time, limiting your range of motion and quality of life. When nonsurgical treatments have all been exhausted, shoulder replacement surgery may be your only option to relieve pain and restore function. However, a standard shoulder replacement may not be right for everyone. In this piece, we'll explore how a reverse shoulder replacement works and who it may be an ideal option for.
Unlike a standard shoulder replacement, a reverse shoulder replacement switches the location of the ball and socket joint in the shoulder. The ball is positioned onto the shoulder blade, while the socket is inserted at the top of the arm bone. The reason for this reversal is that it allows the deltoid muscle (located at the shoulder) to take over the work of the missing rotator cuff muscles, which are often the source of the pain and dysfunction. At times, damaged rotator cuff muscles can make traditional shoulder replacement impossible.
One common indication for a reverse shoulder replacement is rotator cuff damage combined with advanced joint disease. Nonetheless, every case is unique, and your physician will conduct thorough exams and testing to determine the best plan for your particular needs. You may be a candidate if you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, posttraumatic arthritis, or a failed traditional shoulder replacement. Additionally, current studies show that reverse shoulder replacements work better than conventional replacements for patients with rotator cuff arthropathy, a condition in which the ball of the arm bone digs down into the socket and damages the joint.
Before the surgery, you will be given general anesthesia, and then your surgeon will make an incision at the front of your shoulder to replace the humeral head with a metal ball and the glenoid with a molded plastic cup. The cup is typically cemented in place to attach the implant. After that, your surgeon reattaches your deltoid muscle to your humerus.
It isn't unusual to stay in the hospital for several days after your surgery for observation, pain management, and physical therapy to get you back to moving your shoulder. You may have to wear a sling for the first 4-6 weeks while the bone and other tissues heal around the new implant. Your physical therapist will teach you exercises and stretches to strengthen your shoulder muscles and increase your range of motion. In total, the recovery period will take around six months.
Reverse shoulder replacement is a specialized surgical operation, and only qualified orthopedic surgeons can perform it. At Central Florida Bone and Joint Institute, we use cutting-edge technology and techniques to make sure you get the best care possible. So, if you're experiencing persistent shoulder pain and seeking a shoulder surgeon in Altamonte Springs FL, contact us today. Our specialists will work with you to determine whether you might benefit from a reverse shoulder replacement and answer any questions or concerns you may have.