Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery | Arthroplasty | Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia | MedStar Health

Our shoulder surgeons are fellowship-trained and focus exclusively on shoulder surgery. We even train surgeons from around the country on how to perform shoulder procedures, including reverse shoulder replacement surgery. You can trust that our experience and leadership will offer you the highest quality care to effectively treat your condition. We spend time with you and your family to explain the details of your treatment options and work together to craft an effective treatment plan appropriate for your needs. We also develop a rehabilitation program that will help you get back to your favorite activities quickly and safely. 

What is reverse total shoulder replacement?

Reverse total shoulder replacement, also called reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, is an open surgery that allows you to use your deltoid muscle, rather than your rotator cuff, to power your arm. Our orthopedic surgeons have extensive experience with this complex procedure.

Why is reverse total shoulder replacement performed?

Often, you can experience shoulder arthritis along with damage to the rotator cuff, which is the group of muscles that hold your shoulder in place and allow you to move your arm in different directions. If you suffer from both conditions at the same time, a total shoulder replacement procedure may not provide sufficient relief, and reverse shoulder replacement is an alternative option. We use reverse total shoulder replacement surgery to address a variety of conditions including:

  • Shoulder arthritis
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Proximal humerus fractures

What does reverse total shoulder replacement involve?

Reverse total shoulder replacement surgery is an advanced and complex procedure that requires specialized expertise and a personalized approach. During the surgery, your orthopedic surgeon replaces worn away cartilage and changes the position of the ball and socket joint so you can use a different set of healthy muscles to move your arm, instead of your damaged rotator cuff muscles.

What does reverse total shoulder replacement recovery involve?

You can expect to spend a few months recovering from reverse total shoulder replacement. For the first few weeks, you will need to protect your arm by wearing a sling. Afterward, you will spend time doing physical therapy exercises either at home or in a clinical setting. Your surgeon will discuss your specific course of recovery with you as you prepare for your procedure.