The revolutionary surgery called reverse shoulder replacement arthroscopy allows skilled orthopedic surgeons, such as Dr. Stephen Soffer, to treat patients in and around Reading, PA for shoulder conditions that previously had no solution.
Dr. Stephen R. Soffer, in Wyomissing, is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and leading expert in arthroscopy. He specializes in the treatment of many sports-related injuries, the open and arthroscopic treatment of knee, shoulder and elbow injuries, and performs artificial joint replacement for arthritis of the knee, shoulder and hip.
Dr. Soffer was fellowship trained by orthopedic surgeon Dr. James R. Andrews who is internationally known and recognized for his skills as an orthopedic surgeon and his scientific and clinical research contributions in knee, shoulder and elbow injury prevention and treatment. During his career, Dr. Soffer has published articles about shoulder disorders and made academic presentations at medical conferences around the world on the topic.
About Shoulders & Arthritis
The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint that consists of a ball at the top of the arm bone (humerus) that fits into a socket at the shoulder blade (scapula). The rotator cuff is a group of four small muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff holds the upper arm bone in place in the joint and allows the shoulder to lift and rotate in different ways.
Total shoulder replacement surgery can often be done to improve range of motion and restore comfort to a damaged shoulder joint. The damaged parts of the shoulder are removed and replaced with artificial components.
However, total shoulder replacement is not suitable for patients with severe arthritis, also called “cuff tear arthropathy,” which has developed in the shoulder joint because of an un-repairable rotator cuff tear. Many patients with cuff tear arthropathy suffer with an immobile shoulder and are unable to lift their arm even to shoulder height without excruciating pain.
One possible solution is a procedure known as reverse shoulder replacement, which can help restore shoulder mobility and relieve pain.
Reverse Shoulder Replacement
The reverse shoulder replacement procedure is revolutionary because it may provide the only option for individuals with severe arthritis, significant rotator cuff tears, failed previous rotator cuff repairs or shoulder replacement, and for severe fractures of the shoulder joint in older individuals.
It is called a “reverse” replacement because it reverses the normal position of the ball and socket so that the ball will be on the socket side and the socket will be on the ball side. In the absence of a healthy, working rotator cuff, the deltoid muscle on the outer shoulder takes over the work of raising the arm and moving the shoulder.
People who benefit from reverse shoulder replacement surgery often have:
— A completely torn rotator cuff or failed rotator cuff
— Severe arthritis (cuff tear arthropathy)
— Previous failed shoulder replacement
— Significant pain and an immobile shoulder
— No other possible treatment options
This complex procedure involves the placement of artificial socket and ball-shaped implants. Proper implant alignment is crucial to the success of the procedure because any imbalance can damage the shoulder. Consequently, it is extremely important to choose a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, such as Dr. Soffer, who has performed reverse shoulder replacements and has significant experience with the surgery.
Reverse shoulder replacement surgery can restore range of motion to the shoulder and relieve pain. Although most patients will be able to swim, golf, jog, play tennis, and resume their normal day-to-day activities in about four months after surgery, they will not be able to lift weights, chop wood, shovel snow, or do similar high impact activities.
Millions of Americans suffer from debilitating arthritis. To find out if state-of-the-art reverse shoulder replacement surgery in Reading, PA and other areas is right for you, get in touch with our office at 610-375-4949 for a consultation with Dr. Soffer.