Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement
The decision to have shoulder surgery — or any surgery — is a personal one, says Dr. Damion Harris, one of five orthopedic surgeons practicing at the Henry County Center for Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine. Dr. Harris, who specializes in the treatment of shoulder issues, never places pressure on his patients when it comes to surgery.
“When you’re in here, I never want you to feel that there’s pressure,” he says. “The decision must be made by the patient.”
More and more often, the decision to have shoulder surgery is “yes.” In cases of pseudo paralysis of the arm, reverse total shoulder replacement is one of the surgeries patients are saying “yes” to. Fortunately for area patients, Dr. Harris is specially trained to perform reverse shoulder arthroplasty.
The reverse total shoulder replacement was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004; in Europe, the surgery has been available since the 1980s.
But what is it? In short, each shoulder consists of a ball and cup. The ulnar or arm side has the ball; the scapular side provides the cup.
In a reverse total shoulder replacement surgery, “we are reversing the mechanics of the shoulder and moving that humorous bone down a little bit,” Dr. Harris says. “It allows the deltoid to move the shoulder, and it allows patients who had that pseudo paralysis to, in some circumstances, nearly full reflection or the ability to reach up and overhead.”
The reverse total shoulder replacement surgery, Dr. Harris says, “can be a very life-changing procedure.”
It’s one of many tools Dr. Harris has in his arsenal; other surgeries include anatomic shoulder replacement surgery and arthroscopy.