Finding out that you need surgery is scary. But living life without being able to lift objects, throw a ball to play with your kids or grandkids, or simply living with pain in your shoulder can be disheartening.

At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. We also want you to have peace of mind about the procedures we provide, so that you can make an informed decision confidently. This is why we’d like you to take a moment to read about reverse shoulder surgery.

Basic Shoulder Anatomy

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. It’s composed of the humerus (upper arm bone, which has a “ball” at the top end), the scapula (which houses the “socket”), and the clavicle (the collarbone). It is all held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments which join together to form the (“rotator cuff”). Cartilage between the ball and the socket allow for the bones to glide smoothly instead of causing friction between the bones.

Reverse Shoulder Procedure

In a traditional shoulder surgery, the surgeon would remove the top portion of the humerus and replace it with a metal ball, and remove the damaged portion of the socket and replace it with a durable plastic prosthesis. The muscle and tendons of the rotator cuff hold it all in place.

However, if a patient has significant tears in the rotator cuff, a Reverse Shoulder surgery is a more practical option. During this type of procedure, the components are the same (a metal ball and a plastic prosthesis), but the metal ball is placed in the socket would of the scapula, and the plastic cup is placed on the top of the humerus. The surgeon then inserts screws to hold the prosthesis in place.

Performing this surgery on patients with significant rotator cuff damage allows the patient to regain some range of motion in their shoulder joint.

At The Orthopedic Clinic, we perform this revolutionary procedure.

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Why a Reverse Shoulder Procedure?

At The Orthopedic Clinic, we believe that surgery can be an effective option, but needs to be agreed upon by the physician and patient when other treatments haven’t helped.

If the physician and patient agree on surgery, we provide innovative treatments like Reverse Shoulder Surgery. The advantages of our approach to Reverse Shoulder Surgery include:

  • Deeper socket to stabilize the joint
  • On-site post-surgery physical therapy
  • Physical therapists who work closely with the surgeon
  • 24-hour regional anesthesia for less pain
  • Nerve block catheters to make physical therapy less painful

Read more about Reverse Shoulder Procedures here.

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Reverse Shoulder Prosthesis Recovery

After the surgery, the patient will likely need painkillers while he or she recovers. The patient will also need to wear a sling around the arm.

Regaining mobility and functionality of the arm will occur gradually within approximately six weeks after the surgery. During this time, the patient will need assistance from a caregiver to do activities of daily living.

The surgeon will also establish certain limitations on the use of the arm to promote adequate healing. In addition, the patient may be required to undergo physical therapy.

Life After Reverse Shoulder Surgery

One of the most important things to keep in mind with a Reverse Shoulder procedure is that since the patient no longer has their original rotator cuff, the shoulder will not have the same stability and range of motion as before the injury occurred.

However, a Reverse Shoulder Prosthesis will help the patient regain some of the functionality of his or her shoulder joint, reduce (or eliminate) pain, and allow the patient to do activities of daily living and sleep more comfortably.

Having Trouble Lifting Objects or Moving Your Arms Due to Shoulder Pain?

Whether your shoulder pain is a result of arthritis, a sports injury, or trauma, our shoulder specialists can help. We can assist you in determining the source of your pain to create a custom treatment plan for your needs, so you can get back to doing the things you love to do.

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