Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Reverse total shoulder replacement is a surgical intervention that aims to repair a condition known as rotator cuff tear arthropathy. This is different than total shoulder replacement because it switches the formation of the glenoid-humeral joint. Naturally, the “ball” of the joint exists as the terminal end of the humerus, but after this procedure the glenoid will be changed into a spherical object that the humerus head can articulate around. This allows the deltoid muscle to lift the arm instead of the torn rotator cuff.

Although this is a very effective method for relieving pain at the shoulder joint, it is normally the last option considered. It is still an invasive surgery that resurfaces the bones, which can be very risky, especially in patients most likely to require this surgery. The bones of elderly individuals are continually weakening as they age, so it is important for doctors to take this into account when determining if the surgery is worthwhile. Additionally, the patient may no longer be able to lift their arm more than a 90 degree angle after this procedure.