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OrthoArizona has 70 premier musculoskeletal specialists. The orthopedic surgeons and primary care physicians specialize in all areas of orthopedic care including sports, medicine, spine, shoulder and elbow, hand and wrist, hip and knee, foot and ankle, podiatry, trauma, industrial injuries and workers’ compensation.

Understanding Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

In certain patients with shoulder arthritis, a total shoulder replacement does not suffice. Conventional total shoulder replacements are adequate for patients with shoulder arthritis, but in cases where patients have shoulder arthritis with large rotator cuff tears, known as rotator cuff tear arthropathy, a reverse total shoulder replacement is necessary.

A reverse total shoulder replacement is a revolutionary new technology that was initially developed in Europe and FDA approved in the U.S. in 2004.  This device essentially switches the  internal components of a traditional shoulder replacement, which consists of a metal ball attached to a metal stem that is inserted into the humerus and a plastic liner implanted into the scapula which forms the socket of the shoulder ball and socket joint.  The rotator cuff tendons balance the ball against the socket during arm motion.

In patients that have large rotator cuff tears and therefore dysfunctional rotator cuff tendons, a standard shoulder replacement cannot be utilized.  The reverse shoulder replacement consists of a plastic liner on top of the metal stem in the humerus, and a metal hemisphere screwed to the socket.  This device relies on the deltoid muscle to compress the humerus against the hemispherical glenosphere, which acts as a fulcrum to provide arm motion.

Ideal candidates for this procedure are elderly patients who have had untreated rotator cuff tears or previous failed rotator cuff surgeries and developed arthritis, previous failed shoulder replacement surgeries, or patients that sustain severe shoulder fractures.

With appropriate postoperative physical therapy, the surgery successfully increases mobility and decreases pain.

Dr. Martin uses the latest nonoperative and surgical treatments for a wide range of shoulder, elbow, knee and sports related injuries. With the most advanced treatments, Dr. Martin is able to get you back to activity as soon as possible.

Schedule a visit with Dr. Shelden L. Martin today by calling (480) 685-2850.