Current concepts in reverse shoulder replacement

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Purpose of review

Reverse shoulder arthroplasty for the treatment of cuff deficient arthritic conditions has been increasing in volume over the last 5 years. It has been available in the United States for over 3 years. Clinical and basic science studies are providing information.

Recent findings

Pain relief and improved function, especially for active forward elevation, has been a consistent outcome. Active motion has been superior to hemiarthroplasty. There are clinical characteristics for the appropriately indicated patient population for this implant. There are technical considerations for successful implantation of the reverse arthroplasty.


The early and mid-term results are promising with regard to pain relief and improved function. There is, however, a high complication and re-operation rate. Longer-term studies are necessary as more patients undergo inverse shoulder replacement.

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