Miami, FL, January 8, 2020
When it comes to shoulder repair, some surgeons are defying nature and doing it all backwards – and studies are showing that can be a good thing, says noted sports medicine and orthopedic specialist Alejandro Badia MD, an expert in treatment of musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limbs. He is referring to reverse shoulder replacement, also called reverse shoulder arthroplasty, in which artificial parts are used to change the natural anatomy of the shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint – the glenohumeral joint — by turning the ball at the top of the humerus (arm bone) into a socket and making the socket on the shoulder blade a ball.
“This procedure is complex and highly technical, requiring skill and experience. But switching the ball and socket can create a more stable joint with a fixed fulcrum in patients with severe shoulder damage, particularly damage involving the rotator cuff,” says Dr. Badia, founder and chief medical officer of the Florida-based Badia Hand to Shoulder Center and OrthoNOW®.
That’s because the rotator cuff, a group of muscles and tendons, is what normally powers the shoulder joint, allowing it to move and function properly. The rotator cuff keeps the ball of the arm bone centered on the shoulder-blade socket during joint rotation, including raising the arm. If the rotator cuff is too extensively torn, its tendons pulled from the bone, then a standard shoulder replacement, which maintains the shoulder’s natural ball-and-socket anatomy but requires an intact rotator cuff, will not prove effective in restoring regular shoulder function, Dr. Badia explains.
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Are You a Candidate for this Shoulder Surgery?
Reverse shoulder replacement is a type of shoulder replacement in which the normal ball and socket relationship of glenohumeral joint is reversed, creating a more stable joint with a fixed fulcrum.
A reverse shoulder replacement is a treatment option for people with severely damaged shoulder joints.