In shoulder replacement surgery, a doctor removes the end of the upper arm bone. Often he or she also takes out the end of the shoulder bone. The ends are replaced with plastic or metal pieces.
To do this surgery, the doctor makes a cut about 15 centimetres long on your shoulder. This cut is called an incision. The incision leaves a scar that usually fades with time.
You will probably stay in the hospital for 2 or 3 days after your surgery. Your rehabilitation program (rehab) starts when you are in the hospital. You will do this rehab for about 3 months or longer.
It takes at least 6 months to return to full activity. But if you can avoid certain arm movements like lifting, you may be able to go back to work in as soon as 2 to 3 weeks.
After surgery and rehab, you probably will have much less pain than before. And you should be able to return to your usual activities. But your doctor may advise you not to do activities that put stress on that shoulder, such as weight lifting or tennis.
In the future, make sure to let all health professionals know about your artificial shoulder. You may have to take antibiotics before you have dental work or a medical procedure. This helps reduce the chance that your new shoulder will get infected.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your surgery.
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
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