What is reverse total shoulder replacement?

When previous medical procedures are unable to address significant shoulder joint discomfort and stiffness, a surgical technique called a reverse total shoulder replacement is used. Through the procedure, the shoulder can be stabilised, and the patient may enjoy a pain-free lifestyle.

How does Dr van Niekerk perform reverse total shoulder replacement?

The procedure involves the following steps:

  • Incision – For the injured joint to be seen, Dr van Niekerk will create an incision in the front of the shoulder.
  • Removal of damaged bone and tissue – The humeral ball and any weakened or injured rotator cuff muscles will be removed from the shoulder joint by Dr van Niekerk along with other damaged bone and tissue.
  • Preparation of the scapula – In order to prepare the scapula, Dr van Niekerk will use screws or bone cement to connect a prosthetic socket to the bone.
  • Placement of the humeral component – The prosthetic ball will then be attached to a stem that has been placed inside the humerus. After that, the humeral component will be put into the socket of the scapula.
  • Closing the incision – Dr van Niekerk will use sutures or staples to close the incision when the components are appropriately positioned.

What is recovery like?

The patient will typically stay in the hospital for a few days after the surgery. Following surgery, the shoulder joint may need to be immobilised for a few weeks using a sling or brace. Physical therapy starts soon after surgery and is crucial to healing. The physical therapist will provide the patient with exercises to restore the strength and mobility of the joint. After the procedure, Dr van Niekerk will prescribe painkillers to assist with the discomfort, and the patient will need to schedule regular follow-up appointments with him. In order to obtain the greatest outcome possible, it is crucial to strictly adhere to Dr van Niekerk’s recommendations and attend scheduled appointments.


How long does reverse total shoulder replacement take?

Dr van Niekerk will need two to three hours to complete the procedure.

How painful is a reverse total shoulder replacement?

After surgery, some individuals only feel mild to moderate pain, while others might feel more intense pain. The patient will be given painkillers to control pain.

How long does it take to heal from reverse total shoulder replacement?

It may take the patient up to a year to fully recover from a reverse total shoulder replacement and restore their full range of motion and strength.