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Arthritis of the Shoulder: Top 3 Facts about the Reverse TSA

2/23/15 11:03 AM
While most people associate arthritis with weight bearing joints such as the hips and knees, people often don’t realize the effects of shoulder arthritis. While shoulder arthritis may be less common, it can be just as debilitating. Here are some common signs and symptoms of shoulder arthritis:
  • Pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Popping in the joint or joint noises with movements
  • Muscle weakness due to pain and disuse of the arm
  • Generalized stiffness

Treatment Options:
  • Physical Therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory Drugs
  • Steroid injections to help reduce pain
  • Surgery

How exactly can Physical Therapy help?
  • Increase range of motion and decrease stiffness
  • Increase muscle strength as the muscles around the shoulder may be weak from disuse due to pain
  • Joint mobilizations to help decrease pain and improve motion
  • The primary goal of physical therapy will be to help decrease your pain and regain function


Surgeons are now able to perform what is called a Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement, or Reverse TSA? This procedure is exactly what it sounds like. The anatomy of the shoulder is essentially reversed... Can't picture it? Check out the photo below...




With this "reversal" of the anatomy of the shoulder, the deltoid muscle becomes the major mover of the arm, which allows patients to complete overhead movements, such as reaching into cupboards.

The Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement was originally used more commonly in Europe and is now becoming more widely used here in the United States. Local Orthopedic Surgeons are now performing this type of shoulder replacement, such as Kevin Setter, MD of Upstate Orthopedics. 

This technique may be appropriate for patients who have large rotator cuff tears, patients who need a revision from a previous traditional shoulder replacement, or with patients who have complex fractures and significant arthritis.

Find this procedure interesting or looking for more information on shoulder injuries and their respective treatment options? 
Don't forget to register for our upcoming Free Community Education Seminar, "Shoulder pain: Your Options from Rehab to Replacement." 

Therapists Mary Smith, MSPT and Jeffrey Romans, DPT will presenting along with Dr. Kevin Setter of Upstate Orthopedics. The seminar is free to attend but a simple registration is required. Hope to see you there!

Written by Jeffrey Romans.

Jeff Romans, PT is a contributing author to our blog and a great resource on Physical Therapy.

Topics: arthritis, shoulder, shoulder pain