Reverse Shoulder Surgery

Reverse shoulder replacement is an alternative technique to the classic total shoulder replacement surgery. This method of surgery provides greater range of motion and gives doctors the ability to correct shoulder problems that may otherwise seem incurable using out-of-date shoulder replacement techniques. Learn more to see if reverse shoulder replacement surgery would benefit you.

young woman grabbing shoulder in pain

Surgical Evolution

The technical term used by doctors to refer to this form of surgery is reverse shoulder arthroplasty. Arthroplasty is a surgery to relieve pain and restore range of motion by realigning or reconstructing a joint.

The idea of reverse shoulder replacement emerged because of the difficulties encountered in implanting an anatomical glenoid implant that would secure the joint and prevent unwanted movement, especially in special cases with less than ideal rotator cuff quality.

With time, the reverse shoulder surgery slowly became perfected, giving doctors the opportunity to correct what was once thought of as irremediable in joint replacement surgery. Thanks to the development of the reverse shoulder replacement technology, patients across the world are experiencing pain relief and joint restoration at all ages.

Come in today and see Dr. Schwartz for your consultation to see if reverse shoulder surgery is right for your joint replacement needs. Call 1-800-943-8099.

The Advantage of Reverse Shoulder Surgery

Let’s take a better look at the side-by-side comparison of a classic total shoulder replacement surgery versus a reverse shoulder replacement.

Total Shoulder Replacement

The classic total shoulder replacement technique mimics the natural human anatomical structure by replacing the already existing ball on the humerus and putting a plastic cup where the socket is. This form of correction uses the same muscles and tendons to stabilize and move the shoulder in the joint. Patients with rotator cuff damage no longer have full function of the muscles that operate and stabilize the shoulder, making it painful and difficult to move when undergoing this form of total shoulder replacement. Due to the positioning, it makes it very difficult to correctly medialize or lateralize the shoulder joint to tighten these damaged tendons.

In a healthy shoulder, the classic total shoulder replacement method works very well but if there are additional obstacles, especially rotator cuff damage, reverse shoulder replacement may be the better approach.

Diagram of the shoulder bones and joints

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Reverse shoulder replacement swaps the anatomical function of the humerus and glenoid (the ball and socket). Instead of having a ball on the end of your humerus (arm bone), it is replaced with a socket. Similarly, your natural socket (glenoid) is replaced with a ball.


Dr. J Theodore Schwartz

J. Theodore Schwartz, Jr., M.D.

Dr. Schwartz specializes in upper extremity correction and joint replacement, taking pride in his ability to perfectly execute the reverse shoulder surgery, even with very adverse shoulder health conditions. If you previously underwent joint replacement surgery and are in need of correction, Dr. Schwartz has extensive experience in highly difficult reverse shoulder surgeries. Don’t give up hope; your shoulder can still be corrected and your range of motion restored thanks to Dr. Schwartz’s expertise using the reverse shoulder replacement approach.

The reverse shoulder replacement method works better for patients with a history of rotator cuff problems, because it relies on different muscles to move the arm. In a healthy shoulder, the rotator cuff muscles help position and power the arm during range of motion. The reverse shoulder replacement relies on the deltoid muscle, instead of the rotator cuff, to power and position the arm.

Give us a call today at 1-800-943-8099 for a visit with Dr. Schwartz do discuss your joint replacement options.


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