Shoulder Procedures

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement


A reverse shoulder replacement is a procedure mainly performed on older patients who suffer rotator cuff tear arthropathy. Rotator cuff arthropathy is a medical condition where the muscles around the shoulder, also known as rotator cuff muscles, are so weak and degenerated that the shoulder is no longer stable enough to be held intact or function properly with arthritis.

Signs and Symptoms

Some signs and symptoms that may necessitate a full evaluation by a physician for reverse shoulder replacement include older individuals with significant pain and little or not movement in their shoulder, and those with chronic rotator cuff tears with arthritis.


First, an incision is made across the side of the shoulder going from above the collarbone to the middle of the upper arm bone.  This incision exposes the irregular joint surface.  The head of the humerus, or upper arm bone, is then cut.

Next, the humerus is prepared to be replaced with a long metal piece made to imitate the original humeral head.  At this point, depending on the level of damage to the scapula, or shoulder bone, the surgeon will smooth out the bone and cap it with a plastic or metal piece.

The prosthesis is then set into place securely by using several screws, and sometimes a cement.

OrthoNeuro Physicians that Perform this Procedure: