July 10, 2019
Shoulder arthroplasty, or shoulder replacement, is a well-established surgery for treating severe pain and stiffness. The purpose of shoulder surgery is to relieve chronic pain and restore mobility so patients can resume normal living. In recent years, advancements in prosthetic designs have allowed patients to resume active lifestyles following surgery.
Similar to a standard anatomic replacement, in reverse arthroplasty, the damaged portions of the shoulder are also replaced with a prosthesis made from metal and plastic. However, unlike a standard replacement, the ball and socket are switched, thus the prosthesis is reverse of where its natural counterparts would be located within the body.
Reverse shoulder replacement works best for patients with advanced arthritis, cuff tear arthropathy or a detached rotator cuff, or those with a complex fracture. The reverse prosthesis allows the patient to use their deltoid muscles instead of their deteriorated or detached rotator cuff tendons in order to lift their arm.
Reverse shoulder replacement has been shown to be highly effective. Effectiveness remains multifactorial, depending on the overall health of the patient, their participation in postoperative rehab, and the expertise of the orthopedic surgeon providing care. It has proven to be an excellent option for those struggling with pain and disfunction. Connee Bush, featured in the above video, was able to go home the day of surgery.