A Comprehensive Guide to Total Shoulder vs Reverse Shoulder Replacement

A Comprehensive Guide to Total Shoulder vs Reverse Shoulder Replacement

A Comprehensive Guide to Total Shoulder vs Reverse Shoulder Replacement


Shoulder pain and discomfort can significantly affect one's daily routine and quality of life. The most commonly performed surgical procedures for shoulder joint replacement are total shoulder replacement and reverse shoulder replacement. With the number of options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best course of treatment for your shoulder injury. This comprehensive guide will provide you with an in-depth comparison between total shoulder vs reverse shoulder replacement to help you make an informed decision.


Total Shoulder Replacement

Total shoulder replacement is primarily recommended when the patient has osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis affecting the shoulder joint. In this procedure, both the ball and the socket of the joint are replaced with artificial implants. Many patients who undergo total shoulder replacement experience pain relief, increased range of motion, and improved shoulder function. However, this procedure may not be suitable for patients with severe rotator cuff damage.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Reverse shoulder replacement is an ideal option for patients who have rotator cuff injuries or rotator cuff arthropathy. In this procedure, the ball and socket of the shoulder joint are reversed. Instead of attaching the ball to the humerus (upper arm bone), the surgeon attaches it to the scapula (shoulder blade), and the socket is fixed to the humerus. This provides the shoulder joint with additional stability and works better for patients who have weakened or completely torn rotator cuffs. Reverse shoulder replacement generally results in improved shoulder function and decreases pain, but recovery can take longer than total shoulder replacement.

Benefits of Total Shoulder and Reverse Shoulder Replacement

  • Both procedures can provide significant pain relief for patients suffering from shoulder pain.
  • Depending on each patient's unique needs, either procedure can be a suitable treatment method.
  • For those who undergo the correct procedure for their particular shoulder condition, the procedure can improve shoulder function, increase range of motion, and prevent future damage.

Risks of Total Shoulder and Reverse Shoulder Replacement

  • As with any surgery, there is a small risk for infection, blood clots, or other complications.
  • Patients may experience some discomfort, swelling, and stiffness for several weeks after the procedure.
  • In some cases, after reverse shoulder replacement, patients may experience weakness or difficulty with joint function.

Choosing a Procedure and Finding the Right Doctor

When deciding on a procedure, it's essential to discuss your condition thoroughly with your orthopedic surgeon. A comprehensive evaluation of your health, imaging tests, and medical history can help determine which procedure is best suitable for your particular shoulder condition. Additionally, finding the right doctor who specializes in these surgeries is vital for your success in the procedure and your post-surgery rehabilitation period.



If you are experiencing shoulder pain, discomfort, or weakness and are considering shoulder replacement surgery, understanding the difference between total shoulder and reverse shoulder replacement is essential. This can help you choose the right procedure and better understand what to expect from the surgery and the recovery period. Central Florida Bone and Joint Institute offers a variety of orthopedic services, including total and reverse shoulder replacement. If you're looking for orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary, FL, contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards putting an end to your shoulder pain.