What’s the difference between a regular shoulder replacement and a reverse shoulder replacement?

Both types of shoulder replacements can relieve the pain of arthritis or injury. But, there are a few key differences to consider.


During a total shoulder replacement, your orthopedic surgeon replaces the socket of the shoulder with a high-density plastic or metal cup. The upper part of the arm is fitted with the corresponding metal ball that allows your shoulder to function as it does naturally.

However, when there is significant damage to the rotator cuff or deterioration of the shoulder structure, a reverse shoulder replacement may provide a better solution.

The reverse shoulder replacement procedure places the ball and socket in the opposite positions. The metal ball is attached to the shoulder while the socket component is placed on the upper part of the arm (humerus). This reversed placement uses the bicep muscle to move the arm and shoulder.

If you are considering a shoulder replacement, it is important to discuss the procedure, your mobility expectations and your recovery responsibilities with your orthopedic surgeon to ensure the best possible outcome.

If you have shoulder pain, call (920) 996-3700 to explore your options for pain relief.

Acension Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Center

Madison Center at Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital
1531 S. Madison St.
4th floor
Appleton, WI 54915
(920) 996-3700

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1506 S. Oneida St
Appleton, WI 54915
(920) 738-2000

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