There are three main bones that make up your shoulder- the collarbone (clavicle), shoulder blade (scapular) and upper arm bone (humerus) - and a variety of muscles, tendons and connective tissues. It is a ball-and-socket joint, which is held together by its muscles and tendons.  

Specifically, the rotator cuff is the main muscle and tendon group that provides stability to the shoulder. It is composed of four muscles: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis.   

A variety of issues can lead to shoulder replacement, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, rotator cuff tear, fracture and avascular necrosis.

Shoulder replacement is the third most common joint replacement surgery, and patients typically undergo either a total (primary) or reverse procedure.

Total Shoulder Replacement

dr hardy singh, raleigh north carolina best orthopedic surgeon for shoulder replacement surgery, total shoulder replacement, reverse total shoulder surgery, rotator cuff tearsIn a total shoulder replacement, a plastic “cup” is fitted into the shoulder socket (glenoid) and a metal “ball” is attached to the top of the upper arm bone (humerus) to mimic the shoulder’s anatomy.


Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Meanwhile, in a reverse shoulder replacement, the shoulder’s anatomy is reversed. Instead of the metal ball attaching to the upper arm, it is now in the shoulder bone and the plastic socket is attached to the upper arm bone. This procedure is ideal for candidates who have significant tears in their rotator cuff and need to rely on different muscles to move and support the arm.


Recovery time for both procedures will vary per patient, but most are ready to return home one to two days post-surgery and will then be charged with physical therapy.