Older couple playing tennis together

Reverse total shoulder replacement is for people with combined shoulder arthritis and a large tear in the rotator cuff. It can relieve pain and improve function. 

Our specialists at University of Maryland Orthopaedics may recommend a reverse replacement if you:

  • Have a torn rotator cuff that surgery can’t repair
  • Had a previous shoulder replacement procedure that hasn't resolved your issue(s)
  • Have a complex fracture of the shoulder joint
  • Have chronic shoulder dislocation
  • Have a tumor of the shoulder joint

Your new shoulder pieces will 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.

What Happens During the Surgery

You will receive general anesthesia and be asleep during your reverse total shoulder replacement surgery. While some patients stay one night in the hospital after the procedure, some go home the same day.  During your hospital 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 surgeon or learn more about treatment options, care and locations, call 410-448-6400 or request an appointment online.

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