Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement Specialist

Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

General Orthopedics and Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement located in Kansas City, MO

Conditions like severe rotator cuff tears and repeated dislocations overstretch the tendons and muscles in your shoulders, which can cause joint instability. If you're suffering from shoulder instability and you need a new shoulder, the highly skilled team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in North Kansas City, Missouri, can help by performing reverse total shoulder replacement surgery. This procedure reverses the positions of the bones making up the joint so you can use your arm without pain. Call Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today to schedule an appointment or book online.

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement Q & A

What is reverse total shoulder replacement?

Reverse total shoulder replacement is a form of surgery. The Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine team takes out damaged bones in your shoulder and puts in artificial components.

In a total shoulder replacement operation, your surgeon removes the humeral head – the ball-shaped bone at the top of your arm – and the socket in your shoulder blade into which the humeral head fits.

The difference with reverse total shoulder replacement is that instead of putting the new prosthetic ball at the top of your arm and the new socket in your shoulder blade, your Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine surgeon switches their positions.

Why might I need reverse total shoulder replacement?

You might benefit from reverse total shoulder replacement surgery if you have an injury or disease affecting your shoulder for which there's no other effective treatment.

The most common cause for total shoulder replacement is arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis. This age-related wear-and-tear disease causes joint pain and stiffness due to the loss of articular cartilage from the bones in your joints.

While total shoulder replacement is suitable for straightforward arthritis, the procedure might not be as effective if you also have shoulder instability. This is because the instability is likely to persist when you have a new shoulder, as the surrounding support system is still damaged.

The most likely causes of shoulder instability are repeated dislocations and severe rotator cuff injuries. These can also develop into a condition called cuff tear arthropathy, another form of arthritis. Switching the position of the joint components allows you to use your deltoid muscle to move the joint.

What does reverse total shoulder replacement involve?

Reverse total shoulder replacement takes place under general anesthesia, so you'll be asleep during the operation. Your Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine surgeon makes an incision in the front of your arm and shoulder. They separate the muscles to expose the joint, then remove the humeral head from its socket.

Next, your surgeon cuts the humeral head off and prepares the remaining healthy bone for the implant. They do the same with the socket, then screw in a plate and attach the new ball. Your surgeon inserts a metal stem into the top of your arm bone and puts a plastic socket on the top.

When everything’s securely in place, and the new ball and socket are moving as they should, your surgeon closes the wound. To ensure you regain optimal shoulder function after reverse total shoulder replacement, you need to follow a physical therapy course.

To determine whether reverse total shoulder replacement is the right surgery for you, call Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today or book an appointment online.