Shoulder replacement comes in two broad forms: Anatomic and Reverse. Anatomic is typically what is used for conventional arthritis. This involves replacement of the worn bony ball with a metal ball and replacement of the worn socket with a surgical grade polyethylene socket. Our surgeons use a muscle sparing approach for this procedure in which we go between, rather than directly through the muscles and use bone-preserving implants. On appropriate patients, a mini-incision can also be incorporated into the procedure. This leads to a rapid recovery of function and rapid pain relief.
Reverse shoulder is used when the arthritis is accompanied by irreparable damage to the rotator cuff. While anatomic shoulder replacement is successful in achieving pain relief in these situations, reverse replacement is a better option for maintaining excellent function. Reverse shoulder replacement is so named since the “ball” of the new shoulder is placed where the socket is typically located in the native shoulder. Likewise, the “socket” of the new shoulder is precision bored where the ball of the native shoulder was. This allows the prosthetic shoulder to function without a healthy rotator cuff, resulting in rapid pain relief and restoration of function to a previously debilitated shoulder joint.
While both of these procedures are typically done in a hospital setting, our team has been pioneering an innovative approach to pain and a minimally invasive and highly efficient technique that shortly will allow these procedures to be done on an outpatient basis.