In a reverse total shoulder replacement, the anatomy is changed so that the shoulder can function in a way to improve strength of the shoulder. A reverse total shoulder can be beneficial in some patients who present with both arthritis and the inability to raise their arm. In a reverse total shoulder replacement, the metal ball is fixed to the shoulder socket and the plastic cup is fixed to the upper end of the humerus. The orthopedic shoulder specialists at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho have performed hundreds of reverse total shoulder replacements for patients in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the surrounding communities of the Treasure Valley, with a proven record of excellent outcomes and have specialized training in performing this complex procedure.
Why would a reverse total shoulder replacement be needed?
Traditional or anatomical total shoulder replacement surgery is successful for patients with arthritis and a normally functioning rotator cuff tendon. In this conventional and anatomical surgery, the rotator cuff tendon helps position the arm and gives it power during movement allowing one to raise their arm with comfort and strength. If a patient has a torn or damaged rotator cuff tendon, or if the anatomy of the shoulder is significantly altered by prior injuries, shoulder fractures, or prior shoulder surgery, a traditional or anatomical total shoulder replacement may not function properly. This can result in a shoulder replacement with a poor result manifesting as persistent shoulder pain, limited shoulder range of motion and early loosening of the joint replacement. “Cuff tear arthropathy” is a condition that may develop in patients with chronic large rotator cuff tears which can cause progressive destruction of the shoulder joint. Cuff tear arthropathy is a condition in which the rotator cuff tendon no longer works normally and the shoulder develops a specific type of severe shoulder arthritis.It is one example of a shoulder condition which may require the need for a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty procedure. Complex shoulder fractures and failure of prior shoulder replacements are two other common indications for reverse total shoulder replacement surgery. To better understand why a reverse total shoulder replacement works, or why this specialized type of shoulder surgery may be necessary, it is important to see a shoulder specialist who has extensive experience and training in performing this type of surgery. The orthopedic shoulder specialists at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho commonly evaluate patients who may be candidates for reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, and can answer any questions you may have regarding why an anatomical total shoulder replacement or a reverse total shoulder replacement would be the preferred surgical treatment for your shoulder.