A reverse shoulder replacement surgery involves your surgeon replacing the damaged shoulder tissues with prosthetic parts that simply have the ball and the socket in reverse order. This type of surgery is usually recommended for patients who have significant rotator cuff damage.
Let’s talk about how to make your reverse shoulder replacement surgery results as successful as possible, and where you can go in Naples to have outstanding orthopedic treatment.
Why Is Shoulder Surgery Necessary?
The shoulder is a complex ball-and-socket joint. The ball part is essentially the rounded top of the humerus (upper arm bone) which sits within a shallow socket located on the scapula (shoulder blade). The joint is lined with cartilage to allow the ball to move smoothly in the socket while preventing the bones from rubbing together.
The ball is supported by the rotator cuff, which consists of a network of muscles and tendons that keep the joint securely in place and moving as it should. A rotator cuff tear is a common injury that can cause pain, stiffness, and weakness in the shoulder.
Some shoulder injuries can be treated nonsurgically with rest, medication, and physical therapy, but severe injuries may require surgery to properly repair the tissue damage. Treatment of the shoulder may warrant a total shoulder replacement if the damage is beyond normal repair, and a reverse shoulder replacement may be best in order to keep your shoulder in good working order.
How Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery Works
Shoulder replacement surgery involves removing the damaged components of the shoulder joint and replacing them with artificial parts. In a standard shoulder replacement, the ball portion of the shoulder is replaced with a metal ball, and the socket is replaced with a bio-grade plastic piece. However, in a reverse shoulder replacement, the ball and socket parts of the shoulder joint switch sides, so the ball is on the outside – allowing it better freedom of movement.
By reversing the joint, the shoulder can bypass the damaged muscles and tendons (rotator cuff) and instead harness the deltoid muscle (located at the top of the arm) for movement.
How to Make Your Recovery Go Smoothly
To ensure that your reverse shoulder replacement surgery is as successful as possible, it is recommended that you follow these tips:
Prepare Your Home in Advance
It takes time to recover from a shoulder replacement, and initially, some normal movements and tasks at home should be avoided. It is therefore highly beneficial to prepare your home beforehand by putting items you use regularly within easy reach and preparing and freezing some meals in advance.
Situate Your Bed for Optimum Support of Your Arm
You may have to wear a sling at night, so it is a good idea to put a small stack of folded sheets or towels under your arm while you sleep. This will help to keep it supported and in proper positioning as much as possible.
Give Up Smoking
Smoking can inhibit the immune system, thereby delaying healing. This is because smoking reduces the body’s ability to efficiently deliver nutrients to the cells, which is necessary for healing after surgery. Smoking can also increase the risk of infection and prolong the healing time of wounds.
Follow Your Surgeon’s Advice
Your surgeon will advise you of what you can and cannot do following surgery (and for how long), and how to care for your incisions while you heal. You may be advised to keep your arm in a sling for several weeks.
You should not drive or lift anything with that arm until advised by your surgeon; avoid any activities that put stress on your shoulder. Your surgeon may recommend medication and periodic cold-pack therapy on the shoulder to help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Always be sure to contact your surgeon if you have any concerns or questions following the procedure.
Continue Your Rehabilitation Exercises
You will work with your surgeon and physical therapist to plan this exercise and stretching program. Physical therapy will help to facilitate blood flow to the shoulder area, encourage healing, and to strengthen the muscles supporting the new joint. Your physical therapist will also explain which activities are safe for you to do at certain milestones during your recuperation.
Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery in Naples, Florida
If you have ongoing shoulder pain and would like to find out your treatment options, see the experts at the Joint Replacement Institute. Our skilled orthopedic surgeons will perform an evaluation of your shoulder and explain what should work best for you.