Reverse Shoulder Replacement?

A Naples-area senior player is facing shoulder surgery and is looking for helpful information on his options.  His story is below…

What To Do?

“I hurt my shoulder in April, while playing tennis with Matt Davie’s group.  I have had two prior rotator cuff surgeries.  The doctors I have contacted say they believe the operation of choice is a Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement.

I am looking for any tennis players who have had this operation, or may know someone who has had this procedure.  This is a fairly new operation and I’ve had trouble gathering information concerning the post-operative results and whether tennis players are able to get back to the sport.  

If anyone has any information, please share it here or contact me at or 785-806-5501.  

Thanks.  John Corn”

Reverse Shoulder

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, A conventional shoulder replacement device mimics the normal anatomy of the shoulder: 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). In a reverse total shoulder replacement, the socket and metal ball are switched. The metal ball is fixed to the socket and the plastic cup is fixed to the upper end of the humerus.

Anyone have experience with this problem or new solution?

Health Updates…

Larry Turville is in North Carolina and says his “recovery is going well; but is struggling to put weight back on” (not a problem I have!).

Bob Dilworth, who had his first hip surgery (with my same surgeon) before me, but suffered broken bone complications, just got clearance to start walking again – and hopes to be back on the court this fall.

My hip recovery is at about 75% and played my first doubles match today (up in New Hampshire with Bob Wilkie, Jim Nichol, and Nick Ourusoff).  I am not as mobile yet as I used to be; but better than I was before the surgery!

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10 thoughts on “Reverse Shoulder Replacement?

  1. Dr Scofield is the Surgeon that did my shoulder replacement and he told me tennis is not an option for a reverse shoulder replacement. It also is a sign your rotator is torn to a large degree. I recommend you see Scofield he is the right surgeon to see. He is in Sarasota.

  2. I had my shoulder operation over a decade ago. It is a painful and difficult road back. If switching from a one-handed backhand to a two-handed backhand would eliminate the need for the operation then that’s what I would do.

  3. George, Sounds like you are doing great. I’m sure its good to be back playing again.

    Randy, IT IS!! thanks, george

  4. John i had a reverse shoulder replacement 2 years ago and i’m doing fine with it…..however, it is on my off hand shoulder[left]…i’m a righty. i have good range of motion for the service toss and i am a 2 handed backhand and use the left hand as the power on the back hand stroke with no limitations. Dr. Scofield was also my surgeon. Hope this helps.

  5. I had extensive rotator cuff surgery in 2011. It was very painful! I asked my surgeon what my odds were to be able to serve again. He said 50/50. Thankfully I have been serving since 2012 with no problems.

  6. Bill Traiser, of the Pelican Bay Matchpoint tennis group, has had a shoulder replacement, by Guerra. Very successful.

    Lou Celano

  7. George,

    Not familiar with reverse shoulder replacement but have asked a very good shoulder surgeon that I used at the Marlins and Nova Southeastern. When he gets back to me, I will let you know what he thinks.

    Glad to hear your rehab is going well; knowing you I am not surprised.

  8. Response from Dr. Erol Yoldas, MLB/NFL/NCAA surgeon: “It is only appropriate for djd (degenerative joint disease) shoulder WITH an irreparable RTC tear.
    Anything else… djd shoulder with good cuff. Or. Irreparable cuff with no djd
    There are other options”

  9. George,

    More follow-up from Dr. Yoldas: He says the King of Reverses in country is a Dr. Frankle in Tampa. It is a tough procedure with higher complication rate. Dr. Yoldas would be glad to look at his MRI/etc. and give him curb side service if he wants. I have great faith in Dr. Yoldas who was trained by one of the best shoulder surgeons in the country, Dr. Hawkins.

    I hope this helps and he can get a good result.

    Larry and Dr. Yoldas, thanks for great information! George

  10. Larry Starr, What would be the best way to get my MRI to Dr. Yoldas? Would appreciate his input.

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