What is a Reverse Total shoulder Replacement (arthroplasty) (rTSA)?
If you need to have a shoulder replacement, it is important to know the difference between a traditional shoulder replacement and a Reverse total shoulder replacement. In a traditional approach, a plastic socket is inserted into the glenoid, and a metal “ball” is inserted into the top of the humerus or upper arm bone. With the reverse method the ball and socket are switched, the plastic socket is inserted into the humerus, and a metal ball is attached to the glenoid socket.
Why a Reverse?
Patients with large tears of the rotator cuff (RTC) or severe arthritis of the shoulder joint may have more pain with the traditional approach. The rTSA relies on the deltoid muscles for arm movement, instead of the rotator cuff, making it a better option for those with RTC pathology.
What to expect in Rehab:
Following surgery, patients usually wear a sling. Rehab with begin with gentle ROM activities to prevent the arm from freezing. A physical therapist is usually needed to stretch the arm and develop a strengthening program to improve use of the arm following surgery. Patients are usually able to reach above shoulder level to groom, reach into cabinets and eat.
Christopher Taylor, MPT
PHYSIO Physical Therapy and Wellness Asheville
640 Merrimon Ave, Ste 107
Asheville, NC 28804