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Expertise in Reverse Shoulder Replacements

University Hospitals’ fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons are highly skilled and experienced in reverse shoulder replacement surgery, a newer procedure that is very successful at eliminating chronic shoulder pain and restoring movement. The expertise in this innovative surgery has allowed our shoulder surgeons to help patients find relief as an alternative to traditional shoulder replacement.

Although a newer procedure, reverse shoulder replacements have very successful track record among the vast majority of patients at least 10 years after surgery. Your UH orthopedic shoulder specialist will spend the time with you to help you decide if a reverse shoulder replacement procedure is the best option for you, and explain what you can expect before, during and after surgery.

Targeted Treatment Options

Reverse shoulder replacement procedures are typically the best option for patients with a significant rotator cuff injury combined with shoulder arthritis. Patients who have had an unsuccessful traditional shoulder replacement may also be a good candidate for a reverse shoulder replacement.

In most cases, reverse shoulder replacement, or any surgery, is the treatment option to finally restore function if other treatments have been unsuccessful. First, your orthopaedic shoulder specialist will need to diagnose the cause of your shoulder pain. This process will involve a physical examination, medical history and discussion of symptoms and your health goals. Your physician will also order an x-ray of the shoulder to confirm if you would be a candidate for the procedure, or if other treatments will help you reach your goals.

Those alternative treatments may include:

  • Activity modification: Simply changing daily activities can allow some shoulder conditions to repair on their own, or reduce discomfort
  • Cortisone injections: Typically received only a few times a year, these injections reduce inflammation in the shoulder to eliminate pain and allow for greater movement. Shots can usually be delivered at a UH Health Center near your home.
  • Medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can reduce inflammation and pain..
  • Physical rehabilitation: Working with our highly qualified and experienced rehabilitation experts can help strengthen the shoulder and increase movement instead of surgery, or before and after surgery. Physical rehabilitation is not recommended with shoulder arthritis as it often increases joint damage and discomfort.

Experienced and Innovative Surgical Care

A reverse shoulder replacement transforms the biomechanical makeup of the shoulder to allow for mobility without the need of the rotator cuff. With the procedure, the ball and socket of the joint are replaced, but reversed. The ball is attached to the shoulder and the socket is attached to the arm, which shifts responsibility for the shoulder’s mobility from the rotator cuff to the deltoid muscle.

The surgery can be performed in a few hours with recovery lasting approximately three to four months. It is highly successful in eliminating pain and restoring movement to roughly about 75 percent to 80 percent of full range of motion.

Reverse shoulder replacement surgery rehabilitation typically involves exercises performed at home taught by one of UH’s highly experienced physical therapists. Consistent effort devoted to at-home rehabilitation often results in faster, more successful recoveries.

Among patients who have had a reverse shoulder replacement, more than 80 percent are still pain free and enjoying ease of movement at least 10 years after the procedure. UH orthopaedic shoulder specialists are experts in performing the surgery to maximize your range of motion. We are also continually exploring new implant materials to speed recovery and improve shoulder movement.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you are experiencing chronic shoulder pain when sleeping, caring for yourself or performing the daily activities you love, please contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our shoulder specialists conveniently located throughout northeast Ohio. Call 216-844-7200 or use our Online Request a Call Back Form.