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Shoulder Replacement Surgery

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Shoulder replacement surgery is often necessary if the joint is severely damaged by injury or disease.

The Orthopedic joint replacement specialists at Marshfield Clinic​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ diagnose and treat all types of joint problems requiring joint replacement.​​

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.

Before Surgery

Total joint replacement – bring your total joint replacement binder with you on the day of surgery.

Enlist a coach - your coach will provide emotional and physical support along with transportation on the day of discharge and for your follow-up appointments.

Pre-surgery exercises - start your pre-operative exercises. They are very important to do and can aid in a quicker recovery after surgery.

Dental needs - visit your dentist six months or less before surgery.

Report the following - report any infections or open cuts 24 – 48 hours before surgery day.

Medical leave papers - bring your medical leave papers to Orthopedics at least one month before your surgery date so they can be completed before your surgery.

Medications - stop the following medications 3 – 10 days before surgery unless told otherwise during your pre-operative physical exam:

  • Aspirin
  • Anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Coumadin
  • Plavix

Skin prep before surgery - shower or take bath with the CHG soap that was provided. Use this soap the evening before surgery and the day of surgery.

Prescription medication instructions - if you are instructed to take Coumadin, the evening before surgery, do so following your surgeon's instructions.

Eating and drinking restrictions:

  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.
  • The morning of surgery take your medications with only sips of water.

After Surgery

How to recognize and prevent complications.

Infection signs:

  • Increased swelling and bright redness in the surgical area
  • Change in color, amount, or odor of drainage
  • Increased pain in surgical area
  • Fever greater than 102°F - take your temperature

Symptoms of a blood clot

Blood clots can be in your leg or arm:

  • Swelling in thigh, calf, ankle, arm, hand or shoulder that does not go down with elevation.
  • Pain, heat, and tenderness in calf, back of knee, or groin area.

How to prevent a blood clot:

  • Ankle pumps
  • Walk
  • Exercise hands or arms
  • Take prescribed blood thinners

Pulmonary embolus (blood clot in lungs)

A blood clot in your lung is an emergency. Go to the emergency room or call 911 if a blood clot is suspected.

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolus:

  • Sudden chest pain or chest discomfort
  • Difficult and/or rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Confusion

Prevent a pulmonary embolus (blood clot):​

  • Ankle pumps
  • Walk
  • Take prescribed blood thinners
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Request Appointment

Contact us for care

If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

Call: 1-866-520-2510

(Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

 Comfort & Recovery Suites

Your procedure may qualify for a stay in a Comfort and Recovery Suite. Ask your doctor for more details.

Comfort & Recovery Suite Locations

Questions and Answers (PDF)

Schedule a Tour


 Shoulder Surgery

The Shoulder Quiz

A glenoid labral tear and a torn rotator cuff are just 2 common injuries that can go happen with your shoulders. Can you think of others? Find out how much you know about shoulders by taking this quiz.

1. The collarbone is part of the shoulder joint.
2. The shoulder is one of the most movable joints in your body.
3. A pain in and around the shoulder may mean your have a disease elsewhere in the body.
4. A shoulder is easy to dislocate.
5. Swelling and numbness are 2 symptoms of a dislocated shoulder.
6. A dislocated shoulder must be kept immobile for 3 months.
7. Jobs that require heavy lifting can lead to rotator cuff tears.

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