Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Reverse shoulder operation
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Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 09/14/20 04:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have any of you guys had this procedure, if so how did it turn out? How long was the recovery?

BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 09/14/20 09:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not sure what you mean by reverse shoulder operation. Can you explain?

I had shoulder surgery Oct 30 last year, but mine was to reattach 3 tendons torn off the bone.


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Mfan

Otsego,Mi

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Posted: 09/15/20 05:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wish there were some replies. My surgeon suggests that procedure for both of mine. Ive done 2 knee replacements, but im concerned about this too.

NRALIFR

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Posted: 09/15/20 05:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reverse shoulder replacement is for those with large, irreparable rotator cuff tears that have consistently demonstrated poor outcomes from “traditional” shoulder replacement due to loss of the stability provided by these muscles.

In the normal shoulder joint, the “ball” is at the top of the arm bone, and the “socket” is in the shoulder. After reverse shoulder replacement, the ball and socket are reversed, which results in a more stable joint. You MUST have an intact and functional deltoid muscle for a reverse shoulder replacement to work, though.

Also, the term “socket” should not be taken literally, as it does not surround the “ball” as you would see in the mechanical world. It’s actually a very shallow cup, and the stability of the joint is totally reliant on the many muscles surrounding it being intact.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

I know more than I want to know about this procedure due to having multiple irreparable rotator cuff injuries (total separation) in both shoulders, and having torn the deltoid in my right shoulder about 4 years ago. Fortunately, the deltoid was surgically repaired, and I have almost full range of motion in both shoulders, although not totally pain free. Ive been told that if I should ever need shoulder replacement surgery, the only type that would work for me is a reverse.

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chast

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Posted: 09/15/20 06:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A good friend had this procedure about five years ago and was very pleased with the results. He also had the conventional surgery on the other shoulder. The only setback with the non-conventional method was that when he was in rehab, the therapist over extended the shoulder muscle and tore some of the tissue which resulted in a second surgery to repair. OUCH!


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Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 09/15/20 08:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kevin explained the procedure very well. I had rotator cup surgery in 2003 with 4 Titanium moly bolts reattaching the top part of the cuff. Since then 3 ligaments were completely torn and retracted. In addition my bicep tendon is partially torn and pulled out of position. I asked about putting a spacer in for the retracted tendons and the Dr said it is possible but if the tissue is too soft it will only tear out again. They use thick skin from a cadaver for this spacer. So he was suggesting a reverse shoulder as a safer alternative. I guess it is a fairly new procedure within the last 10 years.

BobsYourUncle

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Posted: 09/16/20 08:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After reading the info here, I see my situation does not apply to your query.

I went off a ladder a few years ago, (Dec 2015) put my arm out to stop the fall and I severely damaged my rotator cuff. According to the doctors there are 4 main tendons holding things together in there. I tore 3 of them, 2 completely off and a 3rd halfway through, plus one for my bicep that was not found until the surgery.

I didn't go to the doctor right away, being a typical male thinking it was just a minor sprain and it will heal itself... I was very wrong.

It never healed, only got worse to the point I could not do daily living functions with my right arm without a lot of pain. I finally went to the doctor in early 2018, seeking some relief from all the pain. It got so bad I couldn't even feed myself with my right arm, had to use my left. I had major trouble sleeping too from the constant heavy aching.

Mine was a work related injury, but WCB threw me under the bus and used every excuse to deny my claim, so I was on my own. Still had to work and make a living, that was tough.

I wound up at the Sports Medicine Center at the University of Calgary, and saw a totally amazing specialist there. He works on a lot of pro athletes so he really knows his stuff. Long wait for surgery, but I had it on Oct 30, 2019. Doc told me it was one of the worst damaged shoulders he has ever seen. He said it was a real mess and that he couldn't promise a successful repair, but would do his best. And do his best he did! He told me after that it was a complete success.

Fast forward to now, 10 1/2 months later, it is doing very well. I cannot lift my arm over my head yet, but it is coming along well, getting better all the time. Range of motion is still limited, but the pain is gone. I can function quite well again, just cannot lift anything over my head. My strength is returning, I can do things with my arm down lower, such as cranking my TT off the hitch.

I cannot say enough good about the surgeon at the U of C. He was amazing.

Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 09/16/20 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad you are on the mend Bob. Do you know what he actually did to make the repair? I did not realize I torn mine completely off over a year ago that is why they shrunk. Apparently other muscles get stronger and compensate somewhat so I was still able to do pullups and any kind of pulling exercises. I just could not push anything over head or any other pushing exercises. Then about a month age I fell off my bike in soft sand and that tore the bicep tendon and pulled it out of joint when I put my arm down to break the fall. I have an appointment next wed to review options. The reverse shoulder seems very extreme that is why I asked here hoping there may be another option.

NRALIFR

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Posted: 09/16/20 11:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gary, I understand how you feel about the reverse shoulder surgery. It sounds extreme to me as well, which is why I haven’t gone that route yet. My doc also feels I should hold off as long as possible, because there’s the possibility that if it’s done too soon you could actually wear out the new parts and need a second replacement 15 or so years down the road.

There are four rotator cuff muscles, and it’s not uncommon at all for someone (males especially) to tear or totally separate the two smallest ones by the time you’re in your mid-forties. That’s what I did in both shoulders, and just thought it was normal “getting old” aches and pains. Then moving some heavy equipment I started tearing my right deltoid away from its attachment point at the shoulder. That didn’t hurt too much until the muscle started ripping down the middle, and I lost use of my upper arm.

During surgery to fix the tear, the doc also found that the bicep long-head tendon was damaged to the point where it had to be cut loose and not reattached (bicep tenotomy vs. tenodesis where it’s reattached to the upper arm bone), so my right bicep looks funny now. My upper arm was immobile long enough that all the arm and shoulder muscles associated with it atrophied. Getting them working again took several months, and the 24x7 pain didn’t stop for almost two years.

Today like I said, I have 90-95% range of motion, maybe only about half of the upper arm and shoulder strength, and similarly diminished endurance with that arm. Working above shoulder height is difficult, but I can do it if it’s for a short duration. It’s not pain free, but it’s manageable without Rx drugs, and thank goodness it’s no longer 24x7.

So, you CAN live without some of your rotator cuff muscles, half your bicep disconnected, and a repaired deltoid. But I would never advise anyone which way to go on this. The wisest thing to do would probably be to get a second and maybe even a third opinion. Your age will likely play a big part in what you decide.

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* This post was edited 09/16/20 01:19pm by NRALIFR *

Gjac

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Posted: 09/16/20 03:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NRALIFR wrote:

Gary, I understand how you feel about the reverse shoulder surgery. It sounds extreme to me as well, which is why I haven’t gone that route yet. My doc also feels I should hold off as long as possible, because there’s the possibility that if it’s done too soon you could actually wear out the new parts and need a second replacement 15 or so years down the road.

There are four rotator cuff muscles, and it’s not uncommon at all for someone (males especially) to tear or totally separate the two smallest ones by the time you’re in your mid-forties. That’s what I did in both shoulders, and just thought it was normal “getting old” aches and pains. Then moving some heavy equipment I started tearing my right deltoid away from its attachment point at the shoulder. That didn’t hurt too much until the muscle started ripping down the middle, and I lost use of my upper arm.

During surgery to fix the tear, the doc also found that the bicep long-head tendon was damaged to the point where it had to be cut loose and not reattached (bicep tenotomy vs. tenodesis where it’s reattached to the upper arm bone), so my right bicep looks funny now. My upper arm was immobile long enough that all the arm and shoulder muscles associated with it atrophied. Getting them working again took several months, and the 24x7 pain didn’t stop for almost two years.

Today like I said, I have 90-95% range of motion, maybe only about half of the upper arm and shoulder strength, and similarly diminished endurance with that arm. Working above shoulder height is difficult, but I can do it if it’s for a short duration. It’s not pain free, but it’s manageable without Rx drugs, and thank goodness it’s no longer 24x7.

So, you CAN live without some of your rotator cuff muscles, half your bicep disconnected, and a repaired deltoid. But I would never advise anyone which way to go on this. The wisest thing to do would probably be to get a second and maybe even a third opinion. Your age will likely play a big part in what you decide.

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Thanks for sharing your experience Kevin. I am 73 but fairly active. I can live with the pain I have had knee arthritis since 52 and was very painful at first, and now no longer notice it except from getting off of a chair. I guess you get used to the pain. What I worry about is further tearing out my bicep mussel or doing some other damage. I know what you mean about rehab it took me 1&1/2 years to rehab each rotator cuff repair.

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