Reverse total shoulder replacement surgery is typically used to restore mobility and function for patients who have suffered a large rotator cuff tear and developed a complex type of shoulder arthritis. For these patients, a conventional total shoulder replacement may result in pain and limited motion, so shoulder doctors may opt to use the reverse total shoulder replacement surgery.
During a reverse total shoulder replacement, your shoulder doctor will fit a plastic cup into your shoulder socket, attaching a metal ball to the top of your upper arm bone. In a reverse total shoulder replacement surgery, the metal ball is fixed to your shoulder joint socket, and the plastic cup is fixed to the upper end of your arm bone. Using this surgery, you will be able to rebuild your shoulder functionality and mobility by relying on your deltoid muscle, as opposed to your rotator cuff, to power and position your arm.