Reverse Shoulder Replacement’s Complications, Recovery and Preparation

Two joints in our body, the shoulder, and the hip are special. These joints make for an impressive range of motion thanks to their special ball-and-socket configuration. The ball is attached to the top of the humerus, or arm bone, in the case of the shoulder, and the socket is created by a depression in the scapula, or shoulder bone. The ball and socket can be replaced with synthetic parts when the shoulder joint has degenerated as a result of arthritis. But the surgeon may also suggest that the joint be reversed, so the ball is connected to the shoulder and the socket moves to the hip. This is called a reverse shoulder replacement.

Who Gets Reverse Shoulder Replacement?

It may be recommended to suggest reverse shoulder replacement for a person who has painful shoulder arthritis and a weakened rotator cuff. A surgeon changes or reverses the position of the ball and socket of a shoulder joint during this surgery:

  • The ball is replaced by a socket-shaped prosthetic at the top of the humerus (upper arm bone).
  • The normal socket of the shoulder is fitted with a prosthetic ball.Many people experiencing a reverse shoulder replacement report:
  • Lesser pain
  • Increased strength in the shoulder
  • Better motion range

Although it has potential benefits, the damaged rotator cuff can’t be fixed or replaced by reverse shoulder replacement surgery. After surgery, patients are advised to avoid putting significant stress on the shoulder joint. For example, after the operation, several patients may be able to rake leaves and swim, but not shovel heavy snow or play tennis.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement Risks and Complications

The large majority of procedures for shoulder replacement are successful. 91 percent of shoulder replacements last at least 10 years, experts estimate. However, even when operations are performed correctly and go smoothly, problems can occur. A list of possible problems is below. Some complications are life-threatening in rare cases. A second, or revision, surgery would involve a small percentage of patients.


At the time of surgery, patients are advised to take antibiotics to minimize the risk of infection. Despite this and other precautions, a small number of reverse shoulder replacement patients are affected by wound infections. With additional antibiotics, most of these patients can be treated. An infection can lead to the removal of the artificial shoulder joint in rare cases, and can even be life-threatening. It may be necessary to surgically insert a new prosthetic after the infection resolves.

Blood Clots Involving Anesthesia

Low risk of strokes, heart attacks, pneumonia, and blood clots is present in any surgery that uses general anesthesia. Blood clots in deep veins, called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), are of particular concern during joint replacement surgery, although this complication is more common in replacements of the lower extremities, such as replacements of the hip and knee. A life-threatening condition known as pulmonary embolism may result in DVT. Pulmonary embolism is treatable with anti-clotting medication when caught in time.

Possible benefits of reverse shoulder

Most cases of cuff tear arthropathy are considered potential candidates for shoulder joint replacement arthroplasty with a cuff tear arthropathy (CTA) head prosthetic that enables arthritic shoulders to recover some of their lost comfort and function when exercises are not effective. However, a reversed (reverse Delta) prosthesis may be taken into consideration when the shoulder is no longer supported with the ball in the socket.
Joint replacement surgery can enhance shoulder mechanics, but can not keep the joint as strong as it was before rotator cuff tear arthropathy started. The success of the operation depends on the individual’s health and motivation, the condition of the shoulder, and the surgeon’s expertise. When done by an experienced surgeon, reversed (reverse Delta) prosthesis shoulder replacement arthroplasty may provide enhanced stability along with improved comfort and function of the shoulder.
After a reverse shoulder replacement, the biggest changes patients experience is in the ability to sleep and to perform some of the basic tasks of everyday life. In this case, the bones of the rotator cuff are not repairable, so it is difficult to recover the full strength and function of the shoulder.

Physical Therapy and Recovery of reverse shoulder replacement

Convalescent assistance:

Individuals normally need some assistance for regular shopping and driving self-care tasks for at least six weeks after surgery. After this surgery, they generally go straight home, especially if there are individuals at home who can provide the required assistance or if an organization can arrange such assistance. A convalescent facility can provide a secure environment for rehabilitation in the absence of home care.
After the surgery, recovery of comfort and work after shoulder arthroplasty continues for several months. As early as six weeks, progress in certain activities can be apparent. Individuals will make progress for as long as a year after surgery through continuous effort.

Physical therapy

For protection during the early phases of recovery, minimal usage after complete shoulder replacement with a reversed prosthesis is important. In most cases, to allow for the healing of soft tissues, we keep the arm in a sling for six weeks after the operation. Without structured physical therapy, most people learn the recovery of comfort and function can be achieved.

How to Prepare for Reverse Total Shoulder Surgery

In stable and motivated individuals in whose cuff tear arthropathy is complicated by instability that interferes with the comfort and function of the shoulder, shoulder joint replacement surgery with a reversed prosthesis is considered.
Effective replacement of the shoulder depends on a relationship between the person and the professional shoulder surgeon. Individuals should maximize their wellbeing so that for this treatment they can be in the best possible shape. A month before surgery, smoking should be stopped and not resumed for at least three months afterward. Before surgery, any heart, lung, kidney, bladder, tooth, or gum issues should be handled. A reason for delaying the procedure could be some infection.
Both health conditions, including allergies and the non-prescription and prescription medications being taken, should be known to the shoulder surgeon. It may be appropriate to change or avoid any of these. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medication, for example, can affect how the blood clots. The area of the skin incision must be clean and free of sores and scratches.

Talk to a Doctor about Reverse Shoulder Replacement

A doctor and patient will discuss the current joint damage to the painful shoulder, as well as the lifestyle, desires, and expectations of the patient, and possible surgical risks. To determine whether or not the patient is well enough to receive treatment, the doctor will also ask the patient questions and conduct a physical exam.
If you are facing persistent pain in your shoulder and want to get rid of it as soon as possible, contact the Partani Clinic for the right surgeon to repair the shoulder replacement surgery. The Partani Clinic surgeons will advise you on treatment after the problem has been diagnosed.
When excellence meets skill, magic happens! Dr. Arun Partani, one of the best surgeons for shoulder replacement surgery at Partani Clinic in Jaipur. You can take online appointments whenever you want to go and easily talk with Doctors. The shoulder specialist at Partani Clinic in Jaipur will keep the patient under observation for 5-7 days.
This is going to help them be confident in recovery. The physiotherapist will meet the patient to help them to understand the items that are relevant to the patient. Partani Clinic is one of the best clinics for all those looking forward to shouldering replacement surgery in Jaipur. Dr. Arun Partani will not only enable patients to understand the care but will also advise them of the best treatment to suit their condition.


Reverse shoulder replacement is now an ideal option for patients with rotator cuff arthropathy (arthritis from their rotator cuff tear) or other cases where there is a failure of complete shoulder replacement or where the shape of the shoulder socket is irregular due to prior surgery or congenital deformity.

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