Reverse shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure where the ball and socket parts switch sides. It is a complex procedure where the natural position is reversed.
Shoulder replacements are designed to remove portions of the bones of the shoulder joint that are arthritic. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint, with a ball that is part of the humerus and a flat surface which is part of the shoulder blade. In a standard shoulder replacement, the ball portion of the shoulder is replaced by a metal ball and the socket is replaced by a plastic piece.
In the “reverse prosthesis,” the shoulder joint is still replaced with parts or components made out of metal and plastic. The big difference between a reverse prosthesis and a standard shoulder replacement is that in a reverse prosthesis, the ball is placed on the socket side of the joint. It is opposite where it is located in nature, or “reverse” of what you would expect. The socket is then placed on the arm side where it is supported by a metal stem in the arm bone.). Thus the ball and socket are reversed from what occurs in nature.
When Is Reverse Joint Replacement Recommended?
It is recommended in the following cases:
- Cuff tear arthropathy
- complex fracture of the shoulder joint
- chronic shoulder dislocation
- tumor of the shoulder joint
- Torn rotator cuff that cannot be repaired
- Unsuccessful shoulder replacement
- Severe shoulder pain
If other treatments such as medications, cortisone injections, physiotherapy and rest fail.