Cooper doctors at the Bone and Joint Institute now offer Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery for patients who suffer from deficient rotator cuff, arthritis, complex fractures, previously failed shoulder reconstructions, or other difficult shoulder reconstructions.
Approved by the FDA in 2004 (and used in Europe for over a decade), the Reverse Shoulder Replacement changes the orientation of the shoulder so that the normal socket (glenoid) is replaced with an artificial ball. The normal ball (humeral head) receives an implant that has a socket into which the artificial ball rests. This type of design completely changes the mechanics of the shoulder. It allows the artificial joint to function when the rotator cuff is either absent or when there is significant bone loss.
The artificial joint provides more stability by creating a deeper socket that prevents the ball from sliding up and down as the shoulder is raised. The large deltoid muscle that covers the shoulder can be used to more effectively lift the arm, providing increased mobility of the shoulder. The final result is a shoulder that functions better, is less painful and can last for years without loosening.
Reverse Shoulder Replacement is an inpatient procedure. The surgery usually takes two to three hours, but in revision surgery settings may take longer. Patient discharge occurs in 1 to 2 days, Most patients report minimal or no pain after surgery and after physical therapy, most are able to raise the arm much higher than before surgery.
Dr. Lawrence S. Miller, Director, Cooper Bone and Joint Institute, says “the most predictable outcome of the surgery is pain relief. Most of the patients have minimal to no pain post-op. Usually a shoulder patient is in the hospital for about 2 days. Physical therapy starts in (about) two weeks, lasts 6-12 weeks, and by three months patients are exercising at home on their own.”