Michael Amini, MD’s research on complex Reverse Shoulder Replacement published in The Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
The Reverse Shoulder Replacement is a specific kind of shoulder replacement meant for people who have arthritis and significant rotator cuff tears. In this situation, rotator cuff repair does not lead to good outcomes and is often not possible. The Reverse Shoulder Replacement changes the mechanics of how the shoulder works when the patient raises his or her arm so that the patient can still raise the arm, even in the absence of the rotator cuff. The large muscle on the side of the shoulder, the deltoid, becomes the dominant force to raise the arm in this situation.
However, in the worst circumstances, sometimes the deltoid muscle is even torn. Many shoulder experts feel this is a contraindication to the Reverse Shoulder Replacement, meaning that a Reverse should not be performed for patients who have tears in their deltoid.
Research performed by Dr. Amini has shown that reconstructing and reattaching the deltoid at the time of the Reverse Shoulder Replacement is a possible and safe procedure. This gives good pain relief, good ability to raise the arm, and a good outcome to patients with a complex problem who are usually told by other shoulder experts that no surgery will help them and that they must live with their current problem.
To see the brief synopsis of this study in The Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, click on this link.