If you underwent a reverse total shoulder replacement in hopes of repairing existing damage, but have been enduring additional pain, you're not alone. Many people have suffered serious injury from the procedure. In fact, one of the leading manufacturers of the shoulder replacement units are involved in class-action suits after their products were recalled due to safety risks. What you might not have realized at the time you agreed to have the procedure was that it comes with substantial post-operative risks and complications. Here are four things you need to know about the risks associated with reverse total shoulder replacements and what to do if you've experienced problems as a result of the procedure.
Periprosthetic Bone Fractures
During the procedure, the patients arm must be positioned and re-positioned to achieve the proper alignment for the implantation of the replacement shoulder. If the positioning is not done with the utmost precision, periprosthetic fractures can occur in the shoulder bone. This is particularly true in patients who have weakened bones, such as those with arthritis or diseases that cause the bones to become brittle.
During the procedure, fluid can get trapped inside the empty space left behind once the damaged shoulder segments are removed. As greater levels of fluid collect in those spaces, hematomas may develop. Unfortunately, hematomas can lead to an increased risk of infection within the empty spaces.
During the procedure to replace your shoulder, the connective tissue and muscle must be cut, and removed from around the shoulder bone. If the nerves are accidentally cut, which can occur, you can sustain permanent nerve damage in your shoulder. If that happens, you could be faced with loss of sensation in your shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers on the affected side. You could also be left with a permanent tingling sensation on the affected side. If scar tissue develops on the damaged nerves, you could be left with permanent nerve pain.
What to Do
If you've experienced any of the issues described above, following your total reverse shoulder replacement, you need to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. The recall involving the manufacturers of the replacement equipment could benefit you. Your attorney will be able to discuss the adverse affects you endured as a result of the procedure, and will help you decide the appropriate course-of-action you should take. Before sitting down with your attorney to discuss the shoulder recall lawsuits, be sure to obtain copies of all your medical records.