The Shoulder Solution
Shoulder Pain? Nathan Richardson, MD, explains an advanced treatment that may be right for you
August 21, 2015 - Reverse shoulder replacement surgery is somewhat of a newbie, having been performed for just 12 years in the United States. But it’s quickly becoming the popular option for a variety of shoulder problems. The shoulder is the third most often replaced joint, and Dr. Nathan Richardson, an orthopedic surgeon with Bingham Memorial’s Orthopedic Institute, highlights some common signs he looks for to determine if a patient would be a candidate for a reverse shoulder replacement.
Diagnosing Shoulder Pain
Rotator Cuff Arthropathy
Rotator cuff arthropathy is most often seen in patients who are 65 years or older who have had a rotator cuff tear that’s been present for more than five years. This condition is also prevalent in patients who have had a rotator cuff repair. If their tendons tear again after a rotator cuff repair, a larger tear can occur. When this happens, it is often unknown or ignored by patients.
The Fix: Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Normally the ball is on the long arm bone that runs from the shoulder to the elbow—the humerus—and the socket is on the shoulder blades. In the past, when surgeons performed shoulder surgery using a metal ball and plastic socket in the same place, the replacement failed within a year. Later, it was discovered that by reversing the positions of the ball and socket, a stable shoulder was created and the deltoid no longer dislocated the joint. The deltoid becomes a powerful muscle once again and most of the function that had been lost are restored.If you are experiencing pain, weakness, severe stiffness and are unable to use your shoulder for daily activity, it’s important that you find a surgeon who has been well trained in reverse shoulder replacement surgery. Patients often assume that this type of shoulder surgery cannot be done locally. However, with my specialty training in shoulder surgery, patients in eastern Idaho can now stay close to home and have cutting edge treatment. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, I would be happy to help you find a solution for the pain. Please call my office to set up a consultation, and let me help you restore your shoulder function and give you relief from your pain.
About Dr. Nathan Richardson
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