Dr. Sayyad's Orthopaedic Clinic


Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty

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Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty (RSA) is a surgical procedure designed to address certain shoulder conditions, particularly when traditional shoulder replacement surgery may not be effective. This procedure is often recommended for individuals with complex shoulder issues, such as massive rotator cuff tears or severe arthritis combined with rotator cuff deficiency.

Here are key aspects of Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty:

1. Indications:

  • Rotator Cuff Tears: RSA is commonly used when the rotator cuff is severely damaged or torn, making traditional shoulder replacement less effective.
  • Arthritis with Rotator Cuff Dysfunction: Individuals with arthritis and a compromised rotator cuff may benefit from RSA.
  • Fractures: It is also considered for certain types of shoulder fractures, especially those involving the proximal humerus.

2. Procedure:

  • Reversing the Anatomy: In a traditional shoulder replacement, the artificial joint mimics the natural anatomy. In RSA, the placement is reversed – the ball is attached to the shoulder blade, and the socket is attached to the humerus.
  • Restoring Function: This reversal of anatomy helps to compensate for the lack of rotator cuff function by using the deltoid muscle to lift and move the arm.
  • Stability Improvement: The design aims to improve joint stability, enabling better function despite the absence or dysfunction of the rotator cuff.

3. Candidates:

  • Failed Conventional Surgery: People who have undergone unsuccessful traditional shoulder replacement surgery.
  • Rotator Cuff Deficiency: Those with significant rotator cuff tears or dysfunction.
  • Severe Arthritis: Individuals with severe arthritis and limited treatment options.

4. Rehabilitation:

  • Postoperative Care: Patients typically undergo a structured rehabilitation program to regain strength and range of motion.
  • Functional Expectations: The rehabilitation process is essential for optimizing functional outcomes and ensuring long-term success.

5. Risks and Complications:

  • Infection: As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection.
  • Nerve Injury: Injury to nerves surrounding the shoulder can occur.
  • Prosthetic Issues: Potential complications related to the artificial joint, such as dislocation or loosening.

6. Outcomes:

  • Pain Relief: Many patients experience significant pain relief after the procedure.
  • Improved Function: RSA often leads to improved shoulder function, particularly in lifting and reaching activities.
  • Patient Satisfaction: Positive outcomes in terms of patient satisfaction have been reported in various studies.

7. Follow-up:

  • Regular Monitoring: Patients are typically monitored regularly post-surgery to assess healing, function, and identify any potential issues.
  • Long-term Care: Lifelong follow-up care may be necessary to address any emerging concerns.

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