Shoulder pain can be debilitating, impacting your quality of life and keeping you from performing simple daily tasks. For some people, a reverse shoulder replacement can provide the relief and improved function they have been searching for. Here, you can learn more about reverse shoulder surgery, when it’s necessary, and the benefits associated with this type of surgery.
The shoulder joint consists of the round head (ball) of the upper arm bone, which fits into the shallow socket in the shoulder. It is known as a ball-and-socket joint. If there is any damage to the joint, it can cause pain, weakness, and stiffness, which may get steadily worse over time, eventually resulting in the need for surgery to replace the damaged joint.
What is a Reverse Shoulder Replacement?
A reverse shoulder replacement, also known as reverse shoulder arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves replacing the damaged parts of the shoulder joint with artificial components. Unlike traditional shoulder replacement, in which the artificial implants mimic the normal anatomy of the shoulder joint, reverse shoulder replacement involves switching the position of the ball and socket. This change in design provides the shoulder with increased stability and can offer significant pain relief and improved function associated with certain conditions.
When Is Shoulder Replacement Surgery Necessary?
Several factors may contribute to a person’s need for shoulder replacement surgery. Some of these factors are:
- Medical conditions, such as severe shoulder joint arthritis or osteonecrosis
- Injuries to the rotator cuff (muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint)
- Severe shoulder fractures or dislocations
- Failed previous shoulder replacement surgery
A doctor will typically recommend conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medication, or cortisone injections first. However, if these treatments provide little to no relief, the doctor may suggest considering shoulder replacement surgery.
What Are The Benefits of Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery?
A reverse total shoulder replacement may be a better choice than conventional shoulder replacement surgery for patients with certain types of conditions and injuries, such as rotator cuff tears or complex shoulder arthritis. This is because it relies on different muscles to move the arm.
The primary benefits of this type of surgery are the following:
One of the primary goals of shoulder replacement surgery is to alleviate pain and discomfort by replacing the damaged components of the shoulder joint with artificial parts. If the patient’s rotator cuff is damaged, reverse total shoulder replacement is a better option than conventional total shoulder replacement. This is because a conventional joint replacement device uses the rotator cuff muscles to function properly, in the same way the natural joint does. Using the same damaged muscles to support the artificial joint will result in pain and limited motion post-surgery, unlike the reverse replacement surgery, where different muscles will be used to move the arm.
Many patients report significant pain relief following their recovery from surgery, with a majority experiencing little to no pain after healing.
Reverse shoulder replacement surgery can also greatly improve a person’s range of motion and overall function of the shoulder. The unique design of the reverse shoulder replacement allows for improved mechanics and stability, making it easier for patients to move their arm without difficulty or pain. This increased functionality can have a tremendous impact on a person’s quality of life, making everyday activities and tasks much more manageable.
Reverse shoulder replacement surgery can be a life-changing procedure for those experiencing persistent pain and decreased function in their shoulder. By providing significant pain relief and improved function, patients can enjoy a better quality of life and return to the activities they love. If you suspect reverse shoulder replacement surgery might be right for you, you should consult with a shoulder specialist to discuss your options and determine the best course of treatment for your specific situation.
Reverse Shoulder Replacement in Carmel, IN
If you have persistent shoulder pain or reduced function, speak to the compassionate providers at Total Shoulder in Carmel. Shoulder specialist Dr. Stephen Jacobsen and his team offer a wide range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments to effectively relieve your pain and allow you to get back to the activities you enjoy as quickly as possible.