Who should have a reverse total shoulder replacement?
Reverse total shoulder replacement may be recommended for the following:
- Cuff tear arthropathy
- A completely torn rotator cuff that cannot be repaired
- A previous total shoulder replacement that has failed
- Chronic shoulder dislocation
- Severe shoulder pain with difficulty lifting the arm to the side and over the head
- A complex fracture of the shoulder joint
- Failed previous non-surgical treatments that did not alleviate pain: ice, rest, medication, cortisone injections and physical therapy
Is reverse shoulder replacement new?
Reverse total shoulder replacement has been used in Europe since the late 1980’s. In 2004 the procedure was approved by the FDA for use in the United States and continues to have extremely successful results. Since this surgery is relatively new in the US, it is important to have a skilled surgeon performing the procedure. Dr. Mazzara has one of the highest volume shoulder replacement practices in the area, with proven patient outcomes when performing reverse total shoulder replacement.
How long is reverse total shoulder surgery?
Depending on the patient’s age, degree of shoulder damage and outcome of prior treatment, the surgical procedure takes approximately one or two hours and generally requires an overnight hospital stay. Younger and healthier patients may have their shoulder replaced as an out patient at the ambulatory surgery center. During the procedure, Dr. Mazzara opens a small incision in the front of the shoulder and removes any arthritic bone, bone spurs, and scar tissue. The implant is then fixed in place with screws to allow the bone to heal to the implant resulting in long-term stability.
What is the recovery time following reverse shoulder replacement?
Most patients are released to go home on the first or second day after surgery. Select patients may go home the same day. Dr. Mazzara’s team will recommend antibiotics to prevent infection and pain medication to manage the pain. Physical therapy will begin immediately with a simple set of exercises to be continued at home. The arm is kept in a sling for approximately three weeks with full recovery in about 3-4 months.
For additional resources on reverse total shoulder replacement, please contact Dr. James Mazzara, orthopedic shoulder surgeon in Manchester, South Windsor, Enfield, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities.