This surgery removes the damaged or diseased ball end of the humerus and replaces it with an artificial joint that completely reverses the structure of the shoulder. It is designed for patients who have exhausted all other treatment options. Patients usually spend two to four days in the hospital after the surgery.


Entering the Joint

The surgeon makes an incision into the shoulder and frees the head of the humerus from the socket. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. The ball is on the end of the upper arm bone and the socket, also called the glenoid, is on the shoulder blade.

The New Parts

Unlike traditional shoulder replacement parts, the implants used in this procedure will make the end of the humerus act like the socket and the glenoid act like the ball. Reversing the joint helps compensate for loss of strength caused by damage to the rotator cuff.

Preparing the Humerus

First, the head of the humerus is cut at an angle and removed. The upper portion of the humerus is then hollowed out to receive the socket implant.

Implanting the Socket

The metal socket component is inserted into the end of the humerus. Bone cement may be used to secure the implant. The socket cup is attached to the top of the implant.

Preparing the Glenoid

The glenoid (shoulder socket) is reshaped, creating a stable surface to attach the metal ball component.

Implanting the Ball

The base of the ball component is anchored firmly with four screws. The ball is then screwed into the base.

End of Procedure

The humerus and glenoid components are put together to form the new joint. Instead of relying on the damaged rotator cuff muscles, patients will now use the stronger deltoid muscle to lift the arm.