Reverse total shoulder replacement is an alternative treatment to usual shoulder replacement. The procedure was designed for people with large tears in their rotator cuff. Reverse total shoulder replacement works the same way as regular procedures. However, the joint in this is placed upside down. When the joint is attached in reverse, the arm is moved by different muscles. This is the primary reason for the alignment to work in a better way.
Different muscles are required to move the arm when the rotator cuff gets badly torn or is beyond repair. This can happen with the help of a reverse total shoulder replacement and not after a standard shoulder replacement.
Thomas & Bigler Knee and Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, while also serving areas such as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.
Understanding Reverse Shoulder Replacement
Regular or conventional shoulder replacement makes use of devices that mimic the real anatomy of the human shoulder. A metal ball is fitted to the humerus (upper arm bone) and a plastic cup is attached to the glenoid (shoulder socket).
The metal ball and socket switch their places in a reverse total shoulder replacement. The plastic cup is attached on the humerus’ upper end while the metal ball is attached to the socket. This is why the surgery is called reverse total shoulder replacement.
The procedure works wonders for people with rotator cuff tear since it relies on using different muscles to move the arm. The rotator cuff in healthy shoulders helps power and position the arm during a wide range of motion. Patients with large tears in their rotator cuff lose movement of these muscles. Deltoid muscles are used in reverse total shoulder replacement instead of the rotator cuff for powering and positioning the arm.
Reverse total shoulder replacement procedure usually takes anywhere from 2 to 3 hours. Your surgeon will make an incision at the top or front of the shoulder. They will remove the damaged fragments and position new bone components for restoring function to the shoulder. This includes a plastic cup and a metal ball.
The medical team upon completing the surgery will give you several antibiotic doses for reducing the risk of infection. They will also prescribe pain medication so that you don’t feel any discomfort. Most patients can get out of the bed the same day and eat solid food.
Recovering from a Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement
Your arm would need to be kept in a sling once you leave the hospital. You should ensure that you don’t put any weight on your arm if you want it to heal quickly. You should allow it to rest completely.
The surgeon may ask you to perform a wide range of gentle exercises for increasing endurance and mobility. You may also have to undergo a formal physical therapy program for increasing strength in your shoulder and improving flexibility.
Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for orthopedic surgery.
Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:
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Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada