Patient Care : Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder Replacement Procedure

Shoulder replacements are less common than hip and knee replacements because there is normally less wear and tear on those joints, and patients often tolerate elbow and shoulder arthritis better than hip and knee conditions. For those who don’t, surgery can offer relief.

The primary reason for doing a total shoulder replacement is pain – such as that experienced by patients with serious degenerative or rheumatoid arthritis. Another subset of candidates for the procedure includes patients with unreconstructable joint fractures.

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that enables you to raise, twist and bend your arm. It also lets you move your arm forward, to the side and behind you. In a normal shoulder, the rounded end of the upper arm bone (head of the humerus) glides against the small disk-like socket (glenoid) in the shoulder blade (scapula).
Before the Procedure
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.

During the 2 weeks before your surgery:

  • You may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it harder for your blood to clot. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and other drugs.
  • Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions, your surgeon will ask you to see your doctor who treats you for these conditions.

On the day of your surgery:

  • You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.
  • Take your drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
  • Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.