Ground Breaking Surgery: Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Ground Breaking Surgery: Reverse Shoulder Replacement

The shoulder is an extremely complex ball and socket joint, and happens to have the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. However, this large range of motion can cause the shoulder to become unstable, leading to joint problems and the site of multiple injuries.

Your shoulder joint is composed of four joints, over 30 muscles, six major ligaments, and three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone).  The edge of the scapula, called the acromion, forms the top of the shoulder.

Rotator cuff tears are one of the most common reasons why people have shoulder pain. Torn rotator cuffs can be caused by repeated overhead movements from sports, work, traumatic injury, or disease. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles and tendons that control how well the shoulder functions, and connects the humerus (upper arm bone) with the scapula (shoulder blade). If a tear in the rotator cuff is large enough it can affect how well the shoulder will function.

With age, the blood supply to the tendons in the rotator cuff decreases. This causes the tendons and muscles to degenerate, weaken, and become susceptible to tearing. In many cases, the injury can be treated with physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, rest, and limiting overhead movement. When these treatments fail, surgical intervention may be needed to repair the tear. In severe cases where the tendons are torn beyond repair or severely degenerated, there is often a dramatic loss of mobility and severe chronic pain. Until recently, there has been no solution for these severe cases.

Today, a breakthrough shoulder surgery called reverse shoulder replacement (Arthroplasty) is restoring function and relieving pain in people who have lost the mobility in their arm from a damaged rotator cuff, a previously failed shoulder replacement surgery, or conditions such as arthritis.

During a reverse shoulder replacement, this innovative procedure changes the mechanics of the shoulder by reversing the normal position of the ball and socket. This procedure offers a major advancement for those patients whose rotator cuffs no longer function and cannot be repaired with other methods of treatment.

Even though reverse shoulder replacement is a relatively new procedure, results have shown that it can bring a substantial decrease in shoulder pain and significant increase in function to your shoulder.

Dr. Steve Meadows of South Palm Orthopedics in Delray Beach, FL is one of only a few surgeons in the South Florida area who is performing this groundbreaking new surgery.

If you think you may be a candidate for reverse shoulder replacement surgery, and need more information, call South Palm Orthopedics at   to request a consultation with Dr. Steve Meadows.