Reverse shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure in which the position of the ball and socket joint of the shoulder is reversed. It is mainly performed for individuals with shoulder fractures, shoulder arthritis, or damage to the tendons surrounding the shoulder, which is also known as the rotator cuff. It helps to relieve pain and improve functional ability.
Furthermore, your healthcare practitioner may suggest this surgery in the following cases:
Previously failed shoulder replacements
A torn rotator cuff that cannot be treated with surgery
Chronic dislocation of the shoulder
Cancer of the shoulder joint
Complex shoulder joint fracture
Alternate Name of Reverse Shoulder Replacement
Body Location of Reverse Shoulder Replacement
Shoulder socket (glenoid) and upper arm bone (humerus)
How Reverse Shoulder Replacement performed
Doctors perform this procedure General anesthesia. During this procedure, the damaged joint surfaces of the shoulder are replaced. This procedure mainly reverses the normal ball and a socket shoulder arrangement; hence, it is called “reverse shoulder replacement.”
This procedure replaces the damaged bone and restores the functions of the shoulder. Screws on the socket side hold the socket onto the shoulder blade. The screw then attaches the ball to the socket. This procedure takes about two hours to complete.
Length of stay in Hospital—Around 5 days , one day prior to surgery and 3-4 days after surgery
Preparation for Reverse Shoulder Replacement
Before the reverse shoulder replacement procedure, the following preparations are performed:
Blood and Radiological investigation ( ECG, X Rays, CT Scan,MRI) will be required for Anastasia Fitness and to gain the information about damages in the shoulder.
Inform your doctor about any medications (including vitamins and supplements) that you are taking. Some of the medicines, such as blood thinners, may be stopped before the procedure.
Normal regular diet allowed till one day prior to surgery, You are required to avoid consuming any food or drink after midnight on the night before the surgery.
Wear loose clothing. A button-front shirt would be advisable because the affected arm will be held in a sling post-surgery, and the limited movements of shoulder will be allowed for first 2-4 weeks post surgery to give time for wound healing.
1 day After surgery- Wound Dressing will be done and physio will be started within pain tolerable limits
Your arm will be immobilized in a sling post-surgery. To increase your mobility and endurance, doctors will recommend gentle range-of-motion exercises. In addition, a formal physical therapy program may be advised for shoulder strengthening and improvement of flexibility.
Suture will be removed after 14-15 days of surgery.
Your surgeon may advise you to follow up with x-rays to monitor the progress and improvement of your shoulder.
Risks of Reverse Shoulder Replacement
Reverse shoulder replacement is a very successful procedure. Nevertheless, the following are a few risks and side effects:
Though rare, a superficial wound infection may occur.
Damage to the nerves and blood vessels
This may occur surrounding the shoulder, although such cases are sporadic.
Pain and limited movements
Very rarely pain may persist and complete shoulder movements won’t be achieved
Some individuals may react differently depending on the anesthesia, though this is rare.
Dislocation of the shoulder joint
This occurs rarely.
After ten years, additional surgery may be rarely required depending on shoulder power.
Loosening of the metal implants
This is a rare complication that may occur after several years of surgery.
Recovery of Reverse Shoulder Replacement
Since your arm will be held in a sling post-surgery, the doctor will prescribe medications to prevent infections (antibiotics) and relieve your pain (analgesics).
For relieving short-term pain, various analgesics such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids, local anesthetics, or a combination of these may be recommended.
You will be discharged from the hospital on the second or third-day post-surgery. You will need to follow the home exercise program advised by your doctor.
Avoiding certain activities, such as lifting more than 5 pounds and avoiding extreme arm positions for at least six weeks post-surgery, will be helpful.