Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement Post Operative X-Ray

Figure 3: After a reverse total replacement, the position of the ball and socket.are reversed. 

Reverse total shoulder replacement is the type of shoulder replacement used for people with combined shoulder arthritis and a large tear in the rotator cuff. Your new shoulder pieces fit together like your natural shoulder, with the ball in the socket. 

However, their positions are reversed. The metal ball is attached to your shoulder bone. The plastic socket cup goes on your upper arm bone. And shoulder muscles replace the rotator cuff to stabilize the joint.

A reverse shoulder replacement can relieve pain and improve function. Our orthopedic specialists at the University of Maryland Medical Center may recommend a reverse replacement if you have a:

  • Torn rotator cuff that surgery can’t repair
  • Prior shoulder replacement that's not working
  • Complex fracture of the shoulder joint
  • Chronic shoulder dislocation
  • Tumor of the shoulder joint

What Happens During the Surgery

You will have general anesthesia and be asleep during your reverse total shoulder replacement surgery. Patients usually stay one night in the hospital. During your stay, our physical and occupational therapists will show you exercises to do at home.

Recovery from Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

Your arm will be in a sling or brace when you leave the hospital. You will have outpatient physical therapy to strengthen your shoulder and improve flexibility. You should be able to eat, dress and do most daily activities within the first week after surgery.

Full recovery usually takes up to four months. Your doctor will tell you when you can return to work and activities such as driving.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment with a shoulder specialist, or to learn more about treatment options, care and locations, call 410-448-6400.