What is a shoulder replacement?
A shoulder replacement is when the joint surface of the shoulder is replaced by artificial bearings. It’s similar to a total hip replacement or total knee replacement.During a shoulder replacement we replace the ball and socket of the shoulder. These two new bearings glide upon each other to lubricate and protect the bones from rubbing against each other. That usually improves your shoulder movements and reduces your pain.
When might you need a shoulder replacement?
You may consider a shoulder replacement if you have:
- A fractured shoulder
- Large, irreparable rotator cuff tears.
Anatomic Shoulder Replacement
If the rotator cuff of the shoulder is not torn, then we can perform a standard shoulder replacement using your anatomy.
This functions and feels most like a normal shoulder, compared to a reverse shoulder replacement.
Reverse Shoulder Replacement
If the tendons supporting your shoulder have been significantly damaged by a bad rotator cuff tear, then we’ll recommend a reverse shoulder replacement.
In a reverse shoulder replacement, the implants are reversed. The ball is placed where the socket should be and the socket is placed where the ball would usually be. This leads to an unusual looking x-ray and certainly is a unique design.
The initial concept was developed over thirty years ago but has only been well adopted over the last fifteen years. These can perform well.
Reverse shoulder replacements are now the most common style of shoulder replacement performed in Australia. For more information
Are the protocols any different for reverse or anatomic shoulder replacements?
No, they are not different, both are shoulder replacements:
They are both done through the same incision, and the recovery is the same.
Recovery after shoulder replacement surgery
For 4-6 weeks after surgery, you’ll have limited motion in your arm while your shoulder muscles recover from surgery.
You’ll also need physiotherapy to help you regain strength and flexibility in your shoulder.