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Conventional shoulder replacements use replacement devices that are designed to work like a normal shoulder. However, some people require the shoulder to work in a different manner to achieve results and relieve pain. In a traditional replacement a surgeon fits a plastic “cup” to the shoulder socket and a metal ball is attached to the upper arm bone. With a reverse shoulder replacement, the socket and metal ball are switched. This switch forces the shoulder to rely on the deltoid muscle instead of the rotator cuff. A reverse total shoulder replacement may be recommended for people who have a completely torn rotator cuff, cuff tear arthropathy or who have had a traditional shoulder replacement that was not successful. Patients should discuss their options with their doctors before making a decision.