What is a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty?
Though thousands of conventional total shoulder replacements are performed each year on patients with shoulder arthritis and other shoulder conditions, patients with large rotator cuff tears or other complex shoulder conditions may see greater benefits from what’s known as a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty.
While a conventional shoulder replacement is intended to mimic the shoulder’s natural anatomy, a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty relies on the deltoid muscle instead of the rotator cuff to position and move the arm. It’s often the preferred surgery for patients with a rotator cuff that is considered to be beyond repair.
What are the potential complications of a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty?
Generally speaking, complications are more likely to occur with a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty than with a total shoulder replacement. This is largely because the procedure is often used to correct very complex conditions, making the surgery difficult and somewhat high-risk.
The most common complications include lasting instability, infection, notching, loosening, nerve injury, spine fractures, intra-operative fractures, and component disengagements. That said, as technology and research continue to advance, such complications are becoming less common.
In addition, all patients can expect bleeding, stiffness, and soreness during and after their procedure. Doctors will typically prescribe medication to help with the recovery process, and a physical therapist can help improve mobility and reduce pain following surgery.
The most common complications of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty include:
Luna — physical therapy at your home
Luna PTs specialize in treating patients recovering from reverse total shoulder arthroplasty. The surgery requires comprehensive care and rehabilitation, and patients cannot expect to make a full recovery without expert guidance. Luna offers physical therapy on demand, right when the patient needs it. The best part? Our patients can receive physical therapy right in the comfort of their own homes. That means no waiting lists, no waiting rooms, and no waiting in traffic — our therapists come to you.