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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Total Shoulder Replacement SurgeryCirug­a de reemplazo total de hombro

Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

During shoulder replacement surgery, all or part of your problem shoulder is replaced with an artificial joint, called a prosthesis. The prosthesis replaces the rough, worn parts of your shoulder with smooth metal and plastic parts.

Cutaway view of shoulder with prosthesis
With a total replacement, both the ball and socket are replaced.

Before Your Surgery

You will most likely arrive at the hospital on the morning of the surgery. Be sure to follow all of your doctor's instructions on preparing for surgery.

  • You should stop eating or drinking 10 hours before surgery.

  • If you take a daily medication, ask if you should still take it the morning of surgery.

  • At the hospital, your temperature, pulse, breathing, and blood pressure will be checked.

  • An IV (intravenous) line may be started to provide fluids and medications needed during surgery.

The Surgical Procedure

When the surgical team is ready, you'll be taken to the operating room. There you'll be given anesthesia to help you sleep through surgery. Your surgeon may replace just the ball (partial replacement) or both the ball and the socket (total replacement). An incision about six inches long is made from your collarbone to your arm. Once the new joint is in place, your surgeon closes the incision with surgical staples or sutures (stitches).

When to Call Your Doctor

Once at home, call your doctor if you have any of the symptoms below:

  • An increase in pain not relieved by your pain medicine

  • Unusual redness, heat, or drainage at the incision site

  • Fever over 101.0°F

After Your Surgery

After surgery, you'll be sent to the PACU (postanesthesia care unit). When you are fully awake, you'll be moved to your room. The nurses will give you medications to ease your pain. Soon, health care providers will help you get up and moving. You may also have physical therapy after surgery.

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00

Experience optimal physical therapy techniques and compassionate patient care at Benton Franklin Orthopedic Associates and Benton Franklin Physical Therapy. Call us today at 509.586.2828 to schedule an appointment or use our online Request an Appointment form.

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