Shoulder replacement surgery isn’t nearly as common as replacement surgeries for knees or hips, but it is becoming more prevalent. One reason, according to Dr. John Avallone an orthopedic surgeon at St. Mary Medical Center, is a procedure called reverse shoulder replacement. That’s a surgical procedure for patients who used to have no choice but to live with the pain.
Patients with non-functioning rotator cuffs are not candidates for the traditional procedure, but can benefit from reverse shoulder replacement. Dr. Avallone says in the reverse procedure, the implant is placed in the shoulder differently which results in some pain free movement, although the rotator cuff remains useless.
Post surgical rehabilitation is several weeks shorter with the reverse operation, but just as important as it is with the more traditional procedure. Rehabilitation begins right after surgery and lasts several months. Dr. Avallone says patients are able to do many of the exercises at home.