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Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

Are You A Candidate for Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Posted on: February 26th, 2014 by Grossmont Orthopaedic Medical Group

Best Orthopedic Surgeon San DiegoConventional total shoulder replacement is a procedure that thousands of patients who have shoulder arthritis go through. While this surgery helped many, patients that suffer from cuff tear arthropathy won’t feel much improvement, if any. They can still feel the pain and have limited motion, so reverse total shoulder replacement is what they actually need. If you are suffering from complex type of shoulder arthritis and live in San Diego, you should contact San Diego Orthopedic Surgeons for consultation.

About The Procedure

Your shoulder replacement surgeon in San Diego will explain you everything about the procedure. What you should know is that a coventional shoulder replacement device will mimic the anatomy of the shoulder. What is actually being done here? A metal ball is attached to the upper arm bone and a plastic cup is fitted into the shoulder socket. But in a reverse total shoulder replacement, the metal ball and plastic cup are switched. In this procedure, a plastic cup is attached to the upper arm bone and a metal ball is fitted into the shoulder socket.

Why is this procedure needed for patients who suffer from cuff tear arthropathy? It’s because different muscles are needed to move the arm. A healthy shoulder and a conventional replacement device both use the rotator cuff muscles to power and position the arm. But patients who have cuff tear arthropathy and large rotator cuff tear can’t use these muscles at all. They need reverse total shoulder replacement because the deltoid muscle will position and power the arm then. Your San Diego shoulder replacement surgeon will be able to show you the difference between these two procedures and which muscle groups are activated when you move and use your arm.

Are You A Candidate For This Surgery?

Once you visit us at Grossmont Orthopaedic Medical Group, we will be able to make a thorough examination and determine are you a candidate for reverse total shoulder replacement. You may be recommended this procedure if you have:

  • Cuff tear arthropathy
  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Difficulty lifting your arm and severe shoulder pain
  • Unsuccessful shoulder replacement

Shoulder pain that you were not able to relieve with medications, rest, physical therapy and cortisone injections

How To Prepare For The Surgery

Best Orthopedic Surgeon San Diego will help you plan and prepare for reverse total shoulder replacement. As we stated above, you will have to go through a complete physical in order for us to ensure you are eligible for the surgery and that you can go through the recovery. Patients who suffer from chronic medical conditions have to be evaluated by a specialist as well.

You should remember to mention if you use any medications to your San Diego shoulder replacement surgeon. This is important for your safety as some medications need to be stopped before your surgery, sometimes even 2 weeks before the scheduled procedure.

It is wise to prepare yourself for the recovery period and make small changes in your home. Make sure you place items you need often in easy to reach area and to lower down any of these items from cupboards and high shelves. Besides these changes, you may want to hire help if you don’t have a family member to help you with tasks like, bathing, dressing, doing laundry and cooking.

Your Procedure

Remember to dress properly when you go to the hospital. Do not wear tight clothes as you will have limited arm movement and will be wearing a sling. You will probably have the procedure on the same day you get admitted to the hospital. Before the procedure takes place, you will meet our anesthesia department doctor.

You will discuss the type of anesthesia you will use for surgery together with your surgeon and your anesthesiologist. You may be given a regional anesthetic, a general anesthetic or a combination of these two.

The procedure itself lasts for two hours. Our surgeon will make an incision on the top or on the front of your shoulder. Damaged bone will be removed then and new components positioned so your shoulder will be able to function normally.

Possible Complications

Every surgery includes risks from infection and bleeding. This specific surgery includes risks of dislocation of components, loosening or wear. In case one of these happens, your shoulder joint replacement in San Diego may be revised.

After The Procedure

You will receive antibiotics so that the infection doesn’t occur. You will also receive pain medication to go through the first recovery stage as comfortable as possible. Most likely, you will be able to leave hospital in 2 or 3 days.

Before you get home, your surgeon will show you how to do motion exercises so you can increase your endurance and mobility, step by step. You may also be given a physical therapy program so that you can improve shoulder flexibility and strength.

You will be able to be totally independent after 2 or 3 weeks after the procedure. Until then, you may require help when it comes to dressing, cooking and doing other daily tasks.

Important Things To Remember

  • Stick to the exercise program your surgeon prescribed to you
  • Don’t force yourself
  • Make sure to avoid extreme arm positions
  • Don’t do any heavy lifting, even weeks after the procedure
  • For the first six weeks after the procedure, don’t lift anything heavy
  • In Conclusion

    Many patients are extremely satisfied with this type of procedure. Most of them were able to bend their elbows and reach a cupboard as well as lifting their arm above the shoulder. There’s a high chance you will be able to do the same thing. Besides improvements in movement, you will be relieved of pain as well.