Reasons for shoulder replacement

Your surgeon may suggest reverse shoulder replacement if you have

  • A torn rotator cuff that cannot be repaired, especially if you have severe pain and/or cannot raise your arm over your head
  • Rotator cuff arthropathy (a specific pattern of arthritis in people with long-time rotator cuff tears)
  • A previous shoulder replacement that was not successful
  • Chronic or long-time shoulder instability (the ball and socket joint is not stable)
  • Chronic or long-time arthritis with loss of shoulder movement
  • Reconstruction after tumor surgeries
  • Failure of non-surgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatories, cortisone injections, or physical therapy

Who cannot have a reverse shoulder replacement?

People with these conditions cannot have a reverse shoulder replacement:

  • A poorly functioning deltoid
  • An axillary nerve injury
  • Active shoulder infection
  • Severe loss of bone stock on the socket or ball 
Last reviewed: 
October 2018

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