Are There Problems Associated With a Reverse Shoulder Replacement?


Quick Answer

Some of the problems associated with a reverse shoulder replacement include neurologic injury, hematoma, and bone fracture around the implant, reports More Physical Therapy. Other problems are baseplate failure, dislocation, infection and acromion fracture.

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Full Answer

Reverse shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure that suits a patient with painful arthritis in the shoulder and damaged muscles around the shoulder, states WebMD. The procedure involves the removal of a damaged bone from the shoulder before smoothing the ends and attaching a rounded piece of joint to the shoulder bone. Replacing the top of the upper arm with a cup-shaped piece completes the procedure.

The neurologic injury occurs when a surgeon cuts or pulls the nerves to the arm, resulting in the loss of sensation in the arm, hand and fingers, states More Physical Therapy. If the implant displaces the nerve plexus, the sensory functionality of the arm is disabled.

In the preparation of the bone to receive the implant during the surgery, the bone can fracture, especially if the surgeon is not familiar with the implant and does not know how to position the implant in the shoulder, reports More Physical Therapy. Also, hematoma, which is the blood collection in the joint, can develop after the surgery. Proper implant placement prevents such problems.

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