What is a reverse shoulder replacement?
The decision to do a reverse shoulder replacement is made on several criteria including age, activity level, pain level, and range of shoulder motion (active and passive). Typically, reverse shoulder replacements are performed for patients who have a painful shoulder and limited function including raising their arms above shoulder height. Further, these patients typically suffer from both rotator cuff tears and arthritis.
Am I a good candidate for a reverse shoulder replacement?
Only your orthopaedic surgeon can determine if you are a good candidate for reverse shoulder replacement. Generally, patients have the following signs and symptoms:
- Inability to raise their arms above shoulder height
- Painful rotator cuff tear
- X-rays and/or MRI showing arthritis
What are the benefits of a reverse shoulder replacement?
Good candidates for reverse shoulder replacements are those that have rotator cuff disease and arthritis with significant pain that affects their quality of life. The primary goals and benefits of reverse shoulder replacements are pain relief and functional improvement for enhanced participation in activities of daily living.
What can I expect from a reverse total shoulder replacement?
After initial evaluation, your surgeon will determine the appropriate course of treatment. You can expect the following from a reverse shoulder replacement:
- A complete pre-operative workup that will focus on preparing you for your reverse shoulder replacement
- Approximately 2 hour surgery with a combined regional and light general anesthetic to optimize post-surgical pain control
- One-to-two night stay in the hospital, with gentle physical therapy beginning the day following surgery
- Pain management protocol, decreasing dependence on pain medication every few days
- 2-3 months of physical therapy
- A return to routine activities of daily living within 8 to 12 weeks following surgery