If you have constant pain from a torn rotator cuff, the reverse total shoulder replacement may be a realistic option.
If you have a completely torn rotator cuff and suffer with constant shoulder pain, no amount of physical therapy or cortisone shots will subdue the pain to the extent where you can live a normal life—especially if you also have arthritis in this joint.
The rotator cuff refers to a group of four muscles and their tendons.
They are frequently the subject of some degree of injury, ranging from strain and overuse, to inflammation and impingement syndrome, to a partial or a complete tear.
However, other things can go wrong for which replacement of the shoulder joint is a viable option.
What is the reverse total shoulder replacement and whom is it for?
The shoulder joint is a “ball-and-saucer” structure. In osteoarthritis, there is bone on bone contact, which causes a lot of pain and is “usually associated with joint stiffness,” says Omer llhai, MD, orthopedic surgeon at The Methodist Hospital in Houston.
In osteoarthritis, there is a wearing down of the cartilage between the bones. The job of this cartilage is to cushion the bones and to provide shock absorption.
The reverse total shoulder procedure is not designed to remedy a tendon tear.
Rather, this surgery is for the replacement of the warn-down saucer part of the joint with a metal ball.
And the worn-out ball part of the arthritic joint gets replaced with a device—this device contains a big plastic cup.
When the saucer is replaced with a metal ball, and the natural “ball” is replaced with the cup, this renders the shoulder joint no longer requiring an intact rotator cuff for motion or stability.
Hence, the patient’s shoulder joint, with proper post-op rehab and physical therapy, should then function normally.