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Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

By Adam Schaaf M.D.

Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty is a procedure that has been developed for patients who have developed both a large tear of the rotator cuff and severe arthritis. Prior to the Reverse Shoulder Replacement there were very few effective options for treating this very difficult condition also called Cuff Tear Arthropathy. Traditional Shoulder Replacements have a very high failure rate when implanted in these difficult to treat shoulders.
While the Reverse Total Shoulder Procedure has been performed for many decades in Europe, it has only recently approved in the United States since 2004.

What is the Reverse Shoulder Replacement?

The Reverse Shoulder Replacement is a procedure in which the ball and socket of the shoulder are reversed. This allows the deltoid muscle (the large muscle on the outside of the shoulder) to do the lifting instead of the rotator cuff which it torn and not repairable in this condition.

How long will a Reverse Shoulder Last?

The Reverse Shoulder Replacement is a newer procedure here in the United States and most of our studies about survivorship are from European centers. A recent paper that followed Reverse Shoulder for a period of 10 years found that 91% continued to function appropriately.

Are there Any Complications with the Reverse Shoulder Replacement?

Like any joint replacement there are complications that may occur with a reverse total shoulder. The Reverse Shoulder complication rate is higher than traditional total shoulder replacement and Dr. Schaaf would be happy to discuss these possible complications with you.

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