Dr. Scott Jacobson, orthopedic surgeon at The Center in Bend, Oregon, discusses the two types of shoulder replacements; anatomic and reverse – and when they are recommended. Both types of shoulder replacement surgery can be very effective in restoring comfort and function to the shoulder.

Joint replacement can help relieve pain and enable you to live a fuller, more active life. If you and your orthopedic surgeon have decided that you are a good candidate for shoulder joint replacement, you are in good company. Over 50,000 people in the U.S. have shoulder replacement surgery each year.  

The most common types of surgery are total shoulder replacement and reverse total shoulder replacement. In general, total shoulder replacement consists of putting new surfaces on the socket and humeral head.  Reverse total shoulder replacement also allows for replacement of both surfaces, but does not rely on a functioning rotator cuff for motion or stability of the joint replacement. The decision to have shoulder replacement surgery, and which type, should be a collaborative one between you, your family, your primary care physician, and your orthopedic surgeon.