Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

A reverse total shoulder replacement surgery, or reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that can help relieve shoulder pain and restore function in your joint. Reverse shoulder replacement is used in cases where standard shoulder replacement is not a viable surgical option. 

Your shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint, and when damage to structures at or around the ball or socket area result in pain, you may need the joint replaced. During both total and reverse total shoulder replacement, the damaged areas of the shoulder joint are replaced or resurfaced with artificial components, such as metal and plastic. 

A shoulder replacement will replace the ball portion of your shoulder (the upper arm bone or humerus component) and the socket portion (the shoulder blade or glenoid component). During a reverse shoulder replacement, the ball is replaced by a socket, and the socket is replaced by a ball, allowing different muscles to power the shoulder.

You can learn more about the reverse shoulder replacement procedure by watching the following video:


When Would a Total Reverse Shoulder Replacement Be Appropriate for Me?

The primary symptom that leads to a reverse shoulder replacement procedure is pain and loss of function. If you are a candidate for a reverse shoulder replacement procedure, you may experience:

  • Shoulder pain associated with lifting or reaching overhead with your arm, carrying weight, or even while at rest
  • Shoulder pain that may keep you awake at night or when lying down
  • Limited function and range of motion in your shoulder or shoulders

Typically, the shoulder pain and symptoms are too severe to be sufficiently relieved by conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, over-the-counter medications, or injections.

To determine if a reverse shoulder replacement surgery is the best treatment option for you, your orthopedic surgeon will evaluate your medical history as well as perform a physical examination, X-rays, and other tests, such as an MRI scan. This will allow your surgeon to determine the type and extent of damage to your shoulder joint. A diagnosis of advanced shoulder arthritis, or degenerative joint damage, as well as bone spurs will likely result in a recommendation of shoulder replacement surgery. 

Following the evaluation, your surgeon will discuss whether a total shoulder replacement or a reverse shoulder replacement is the best treatment to relieve your pain and improve your function. Additionally, your surgeon will explain the potential risks and complications of the shoulder replacement procedure you need based on your goals as well as your shoulder anatomy and overall health.

What Benefits Does Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery Offer?

Following a reverse shoulder replacement surgery, you can expect reduced shoulder pain and improved range of motion. With your new shoulder components, the painful friction and degeneration of structures in your shoulder joint will be eliminated and your function will be restored. 

Because of incisions and adjustment to your new shoulder, you may experience some tightness and occasional aches postoperatively. You should expect to return to your normal, daily activities with more mobility and reduced limitation.

Why Choose Southern Indiana Orthopedics?

At Southern Indiana Orthopedics, you are in excellent hands with our experienced reverse shoulder replacement surgeons, Dr. Douglas FederleDr. Matthew Lovell, and Dr. Eric Tannenbaum, who have all had additional training in the techniques required for the advanced reverse shoulder replacement procedure. Our reverse shoulder replacement specialists are all board-certified in orthopedic surgery or fellowship-trained in the latest treatments and have the specialized knowledge and skills to treat your shoulder injury or condition individually to meet your needs. 

To consult with our Southern Indiana Orthopedics specialists about your treatment options, please request an appointment online or call (812) 376-9353. Our surgeons are available at our main location in Columbus and at our North Vernon, Seymour, or Greensburg outreach clinics.