Baytown Office 281-837-8371

Surgery Instructions for Total Shoulder Joint Replacement

We will make the arrangements and call you
  • We will call your insurance carrier and make the arrangements for surgery.
  • We will call you to let you know when and where your surgery will be performed.
  • Please keep a pencil and paper by the phone to write down the information when we call you.
  • The exact time of your surgery will not be known until the evening before your surgery.

Before surgery

  • You need a history and physical by your family physician within 7 days prior to the day of surgery.
  • If you are taking medications, you should call your family doctor to find out if it is okay to continue taking that medication.
  • A blood transfusion is usually required. Before surgery, you will need to donate 2 units of blood that is either your own, a family member's, or a close friend's.
  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. This includes sips of water, coffee, or anything else.
  • Make sure you have someone to drive you home the day of surgery.
  • If you are 18 or under and are not married, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Do not wear jewelry or take other valuable items with you.
  • Do not wear make-up or nail polish.

Day of surgery

  • The average stay in the hospital is 3 to 7 days, depending on your general overall health and the help you will have at home.
  • Total shoulder replacement surgery is done under a general anesthetic (puts you to sleep).
  • The surgery usually takes one to one and a half hours.
  • Risks include blood clot, anesthesia complications, and infection.
  • The scar on your shoulder will be approximately 10 inches long.
  • You will be given a prescription for pain medication to take home with you.

After surgery

  • You will be in an immobilizer for approximately 4 to 6 weeks following surgery.
  • Physical therapy will be started in the hospital, and you may continue most of your therapy at home.
  • You will see your doctor in 8 to 10 days following surgery.
  • If you notice any changes such as fever, bleeding, drainage, or unusual symptoms at all, you should contact our office immediately.
  • After surgery, you will be at risk of infection from total joint surgery. We will issue you a medic alert card as a reminder that if you should ever have any sort of infection, such as a urinary tract infection, or if you should have dental work or surgery, you will need an antibiotic medication. You will be given a pamphlet which will further discuss this.

Please call our office at 515-222-3151 if you have any questions. Please do not call the hospital. If you have questions or concerns, we want to hear from you.

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