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In shoulder replacement surgery, a doctor removes the end of the upper arm bone. Often they also take 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 (6 inches) long on your shoulder. This cut is called an incision. The incision leaves a scar that usually fades with time.
Your doctor will let you know if you will stay in the hospital or if you can go home the day of surgery. Your rehabilitation program (rehab) starts when you are in the hospital. You will do this rehab for about 3 months or longer.
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.
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 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 surgery.
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Current as of: March 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
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