As we get older, our bodies tend to reflect the natural wear and tear they’ve received over many years of life. Unfortunately, this can include a heightened risk of certain orthopedic conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries to the rotator cuff. When both of these conditions occur at once, they can form an entirely different and difficult to treat condition known as “rotator cuff arthropy.” There is only one type of surgery that can restore full, natural mobility to shoulder affected with this condition: reverse total shoulder joint replacement.
Dr. Joseph Norris is a highly experienced orthopedic shoulder specialist who provides reverse shoulder joint replacements to patients who need effective, long-term treatment for shoulder pain. Using state-of-the-art, scientifically proven surgical techniques, Dr. Norris will approach your surgery with the goal of restoring you to full functionality and improving your overall quality of life.
If you’ve been living with debilitating pain and all previous attempts at treatment have failed to relieve it, you may be eligible for a reverse shoulder joint replacement. Don’t delay -- if you’re ready to restore your affected shoulder and live pain-free, schedule your first appointment with Dr. Joseph Norris today.
Dr. Norris generally recommends trying other, less final and less invasive options before undergoing a reverse shoulder joint replacement. If you do opt for reverse shoulder replacement surgery, it’s important to know that the procedure is always done while you are under anaesthesia. During your procedure, your shoulder will be opened, and Dr. Norris will separate all of the underlying muscles to expose your shoulder joint.
Here’s how a reverse shoulder joint replacement works: first, Dr. Norris will make an incision in the affected shoulder which will expose the joint. The difference between a reverse shoulder replacement and a traditional total shoulder replacement begins here -- instead of a metal ball being placed at the end of your humerus (upper arm bone) and plastic being attached to your shoulder socket, the ball will instead be attached to the shoulder bone, and plastic prosthetic socket will be attached to the top of the humerus.
This “swapping” of the placement of each component is why the procedure is referred to as a “reverse” shoulder joint replacement, and it’s done in order to allow you to use your deltoid muscle to lift your arm instead of a damaged rotator cuff.
Dr. Norris is committed to using minimally invasive techniques during all of his orthopedic surgeries. However, due to the complexity of the procedure, most reverse shoulder joint replacements will require a large incision so that Dr. Norris has as much access and visibility in the area as possible.
Dr. Norris usually recommends reverse shoulder replacement to patients in a very particular set of circumstances. Older adults often struggle with a number of orthopedic difficulties, including arthritis and an increased risk of rotator cuff tears. When both of these conditions occur at the same time, they can develop into a unique condition called “rotator cuff arthropy.”
While less invasive options such as injections, medications and physical therapy can often help relieve the pain associated with rotator cuff injuries and arthritis independently, reverse shoulder joint replacement has proven to be the only long-term solution that restores normal mobility to the affected shoulder.
The first step toward deciding whether or not you need a total shoulder replacement is a thorough evaluation which involves a physical exam, a careful examination of your previous medical history, and an MRI. If you continue to struggle with severe shoulder pain even after trying some less aggressive solutions, don’t wait to reach out to Dr. Norris.
While rotator cuff arthropy is the most common reason why Dr. Norris would recommend reverse shoulder joint replacement, he also performs the procedure on older patients who have had severe fractures. In these cases, the rotator cuff may heal back to the bone, and reverse shoulder replacement can bypass this issue.
Dr. Norris usually recommends attempting more conservative treatments before receiving reverse shoulder joint replacement, as the procedure is a complex one that often serves as a final resort that cannot be revised. This procedure also places permanent restrictions on how much a patient can lift, even after a full recovery. However, it is truly the best option for some patients who are struggling with severe, debilitating pain.
Each body is different, therefore each patient’s recovery will be different. However, the minimally-invasive techniques employed by Dr. Norris result in a shorter recovery period -- as well as less pain and cost -- than methods traditionally used in the past. Dr. Norris will discuss your recovery timeline with you as part of your treatment plan.
Yes! Physical therapy is an extremely important element of any surgical treatment, and it will be essential to helping you learn to be fully mobile with your shoulder replacement. It’s vital to follow all of the post-operative guidelines outlined for you by Dr. Norris in order to make the most complete, effective recovery possible.