Shoulder pain and problems are not something anybody wants, especially when it prevents you from lifting your arm. Doctor Michael Yost, an orthopedic surgeon At Comanche County Memorial Hospital, said he went into the field because he wanted to help make people better.

He said it’s amazing to see what the surgery does because people will come in, and they’re hardly able to lift their arm, and a few months later they can lift it over their head. Dr. Yost specializes in Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement surgeries at Comanche County Memorial Hospital.

“Which is for people with rotator cuff arthropathy that lose function in their shoulder, can’t raise their arm, they have pain,” said Dr. Yost. “So, it’s a good surgery to restore function to the shoulder.”

So, how does it work, and how does it give the patient function again?

“The term reverse just means we’re putting a round surface on the flat part here,” he said. “That’s the whole premise of the reverse is instead of the flat part being here and the round part being on the humerus, we’re replacing the flat surface of the ball.”

Dr. Yost said it allows the deltoid muscle, which still functions, to become the muscle activator of the shoulder. He said the surgery works the same whether you hurt your shoulder yesterday or years ago.

“That’s the good thing. It’s for people with really chronic shoulders that were misdiagnosed or just didn’t want to do anything. It’s still something that can restore function,” Dr. Yost said. “I’ve done ranchers that can still throw hay, and so it really restores function. Obviously, it’s based on age, so somebody that’s 80 can’t do as much as somebody who’s 50, but it allows somebody to return back to what they like to do.”

He said those who get the surgery stay a night, and then they’re in a mobilizer for a few weeks. After that, they go through therapy.

“Therapy is tough, but most people do it well,” he said. “If you look back, usually it’s a year, year and a half, and that’s as good as your shoulder is going to be. Most people three months to six months are raising their arms above their head – some people faster.”

Dr. Yost said if you’re having chronic shoulder problems, you can call his office to get an appointment set up, and he’d be happy to talk to you about it.