Meet Our SurgeonLonnie D. Davis, MD

  • Dr. Davis is like no other...his compassion and kindness is superior! Easy to talk to, explains everything, open to all questions and takes time with you.

    Bonnie - Fairfax VA

  • He did an excellent job on my surgery and follow up. All was as expected. He answers questions thoroughly but does not waste patient time.

    Irene - Reston VA

  • Given the extent of my injury and accident, Dr. Davis did a miraculous job getting me back to normal. He always kept me informed of what to keep an eye on, and how to address certain aspects of my new life adjusting to this injury.

    Jake - Reston VA

  • He was very knowledgeable and excellent at translating what the issue with my knee was from medical terminology into layman's terms. He was extremely thorough and with this being my third opinion on my knee, I immediately decided I would continue through the surgery process with Dr. Davis.

    Eva - Washington DC

  • He is fantastic! Very kind. Smart. Answered my questions. I know nothing. And he was so patient. Treated my son with wonderful kindness and dignity. Dr. Davis is a good man. Glad to have met him! Will definitely go to his office in the future if we have a need for it.

    Jodi - Reston VA

  • It was my first appointment with Dr. Davis and he impressed me with his concern for my wellbeing. He is extremely thorough, spends plenty of time with you and has an excellent bedside manner. I would recommend him to anyone with a sports related injury.

    Lauren - Alexandria VA

  • I'm pretty active and have seen Dr. Lonnie Davis for a number of sports-related injuries for the past few years. I've seen him for a torn ACL, stress fracture in the foot, rock-climbing hand and ankle injuries, etc. I was really impressed with how well my ACL surgery, care and recovery went. He's been great at diagnosing the problems and getting me back to sports.

    Jennie - Annandale VA

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Lonnie D Davis MD

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

Reverse total shoulder replacement, is an advanced surgical technique specifically designed for rotator cuff tear arthropathy, a condition where the patient suffers from both shoulder arthritis and a rotator cuff tear.

The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint formed by the union of the head of the upper arm bone (humerus) and the shoulder socket (glenoid). The rotator cuff is a group of four tendons that join the head of the humerus to the deeper shoulder muscles to provide stability and mobility to the shoulder joint.

When the rotator cuff is torn, it can cause wear and tear to the shoulder joint and lead to shoulder arthritis. Conventional surgical methods such as total shoulder joint replacement have been shown to be significantly ineffective in the treatment of Rotator cuff arthropathy.

Conventional shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing the ball of the arm bone (humerus) with a metal ball and the socket (glenoid cavity) of the shoulder blade (scapula) with a plastic socket. If this surgery is used to treat rotator cuff arthropathy, it may result in loosening of the implants due to the torn rotator cuff. Therefore, a specifically designed surgery was developed called reverse total shoulder replacement to be employed in such cases.

In reverse total shoulder replacement, the placement of the artificial components is essentially reversed. In other words, the humeral ball is placed in the glenoid cavity of the shoulder blade (scapula) and the plastic socket is placed on top of the arm bone. This design makes efficient use of the deltoid muscle, the large shoulder muscle, to compensate for the torn rotator cuff.

Symptoms

Patients with rotator cuff arthropathy may feel pain (usually at night) and weakness within the involved shoulder. Patients may have had a prior rotator cuff repair or a history of multiple repairs. The most common symptom is the inability to raise the arm above the shoulder to perform overhead activities.

Ideal candidates for surgery

Reverse total shoulder replacement may be recommended for the following situations:

  • Completely torn rotator cuff that is difficult to repair
  • Presence of cuff tear arthropathy
  • Previous unsuccessful shoulder replacement
  • Severe shoulder pain and difficulty in performing overhead activities
  • Continued pain despite other treatments such as rest, medications, cortisone injections, and physical therapy

Procedure

Reverse total shoulder replacement surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia.

  • Your surgeon makes an incision over the affected shoulder to expose the shoulder joint
  • The humerus is separated from the glenoid socket of the scapula (shoulder blade)
  • The arthritic parts of the humeral head and the socket are removed and prepared for insertion of the artificial components
  • The artificial components include the metal ball that is screwed into the shoulder socket and the plastic cup that is cemented into the upper arm bone
  • The artificial components are then fixed in place
  • The joint capsule is stitched together, the tissues approximated and the wound is closed with sutures.

Post-operative care

Patients can get out of the bed on the same day of the surgery, but usually stay in the hospital for 1-2 days. General post-operative instructions include:

  • Take all prescribed medications as instructed
  • Undergo gentle range of motion exercises to increase your shoulder mobility
  • Physical therapy will be recommended to strengthen the shoulder and improve flexibility
  • Avoid overhead activities for at least 6 weeks
  • Don’t push yourself up out of a chair or bed using your shoulder muscles
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects

Risks and complications

Possible risks and complications associated with reverse total shoulder replacement surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Dislocation or instability of the implanted joint
  • Fracture of the humerus or scapula
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels
  • Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis)
  • Wound irritation
  • Arm length discrepancies
  • Wearing out of the components

Useful Links

  • The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Medical Society of Virginia
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • mid atlantic shoulder elbow society
  • mclean high school
  • STOP Sports Injuries