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How is rotator cuff arthropathy treated?

Kristofer J. Jones, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Historically, there was really no way to treat rotator cuff arthropathy. Doctors would tend to manage people with anti-inflammatory medications and subacromial injections, but now there is a real solution in the form of a special type of shoulder replacement. Reverse shoulder arthroplasty was designed in France, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is now being done in the United States fairly routinely. 

It's a very clever way of reversing the ball and the socket design of a normal shoulder replacement. In a normal shoulder replacement, doctors will cut the bone and put in a metal ball and plastic socket in their normal anatomic locations. In a reverse shoulder replacement, doctors reverse the parts so that the deltoid muscle can take over the function of the poorly functioning rotator cuff. It’s a very clever way of using the biomechanics of the center of the rotation of the shoulder to make the deltoid muscle the main lifter of the shoulder.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.