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Reverse Shoulder Surgery at BMC

Reverse Shoulder Surgery at BMC


We rely on our shoulders to perform essential everyday tasks such as lifting, reaching, and carrying. So when they don't work properly, simple activities like showering, grocery shopping, driving, and picking up a child can become painful – even impossible. If you have been suffering with shoulder pain and are considering surgery, our orthopedic surgeons offer expertise in the latest treatments and techniques, including reverse shoulder replacement surgery.

Reverse shoulder surgery is a fairly new procedure that can result in less pain and greater range of motion for patients with shoulder arthritis called "cuff tear arthropathy." You might also be a candidate for this type of surgery if you:

  • Have a completely torn rotator cuff that cannot be repaired.
  • Have a shoulder fracture is not fixable with traditional method of plate and screws.
  • Have had a previous shoulder replacement that was unsuccessful.
  • Experience severe shoulder pain and difficulty lifting your arm away from your side or over your head.
  • Tried nonsurgical treatments, but none of them have helped relieve your shoulder pain or improve your shoulder function.

This cutting-edge approach is one in which BMC's Dr. Xinning "Tiger" Li excels. "Conventional shoulder replacement surgery relies on the rotator cuff to function properly and restore use of the patient's shoulder," said Dr. Li. "But for the most severe cases, the rotator cuff might be so badly damaged or torn that this isn't an option. With reverse shoulder replacement surgery, we're allowing the deltoid to help restore a shoulder with chronic pain and loss of function to a normal shoulder that is pain free, allowing the patient to use their shoulder for daily activities again."

At BMC, physical and occupational therapists are here to get patients back on track after surgery. "After reverse shoulder replacement, patients should be able to lift their arms above their shoulders, and common everyday tasks should be possible – and pain free – again," said Dr. Li. To learn more about shoulder replacement surgery at BMC, please call 617.638.5633 or visit bmc.org/ortho. You can also visit Dr. Li's website to learn more about the reverse shoulder replacement surgery: http://xinningli.com/education/shoulder-replacement/.