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Primary & Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery - What Should You Be Aware Of?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Mukesh Laddha 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Orthopaedics, DNB - Orthopedics/Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedist, Nagpur  •  17 years experience
Primary & Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery - What Should You Be Aware Of?

Shoulder replacement surgery is less common than knee replacement surgery.  It helps with the shoulder joint pain and easy movement of the shoulder. More people are emerging to opt for shoulder replacement surgery. More and more people are taking the benefit of shoulder replacement surgery to relieve pain and dislocation.

The shoulder is made up of mainly three bones: upper arm bone, collarbone, and shoulder blade to attach them. The head of the upper arm bone is attached to a small round socket also known as glenoid. Basically, the shoulder is a ball and socket joint.

The surfaces of the bones where they attach themselves are filled with articular cartilage. The fluid helps in the movement of the bones without friction and protects them. The joint is then covered in muscles, tendons, and tissue that keeps the shoulder socket in place and helps in the smooth movement of the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff keeps the arm bones attached to the socket and enables you to rotate your arms and shoulders with ease.

In the primary shoulder replacement surgery, surgeons use the artificial prosthesis for treating shoulder. The damaged or injured parts are removed and replaced with new artificial parts, mainly made of the prosthesis. The anatomy is the same as the shoulder after surgery, the only difference is the artificial parts. A plastic cup is fitted in the shoulder socket and a ball is attached on the upper arm bone for rotating and movement of the arms and shoulders.

However, in the reverse shoulder replacement surgery, doctors work in reverse mode. Due to the injury in the rotating cuff and tearing of the tissue, the metal ball cannot be fitted to the upper arm bone. For this reason, doctors use reverse shoulder replacement surgery for the patients in which a rotating metal ball is fixed to the shoulder socket and a plastic cup is attached to the upper arm bone. Reverse surgery has opted for patients with shoulder arthritis, and arthropathy for patients for which rotator cuffs do not function. The surgery is relied upon deltoid muscle to stabilize the arm and easy movement.

The doctors diagnosed the patients with care. The type of surgery largely depends upon the condition of the shoulder of the patients. Reverse shoulder replacement surgery is very common these days. Many of the patients who suffer from rotator cuff damage can benefit from the surgery.

After the surgery, the patient is supposed to wear a sling to give support to the arm and shoulder. The sling helps the surgery site a time to heal. With proper and timely follow up with the doctor and performing the physical exercise as suggested by the doctors, patients can recover from the surgery in just a couple of months. Physical therapy is recommended by doctors for fast recovery and proper placement of shoulder parts. Thousands of patients have benefited from shoulder replacement surgery in recent times. The follow-up doctors monitor the movement, rotation, and function of the shoulder for a period of six months, to ascertain the viability and acceptance of surgery by the body.

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