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Total Shoulder -- FAQs

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How long does the surgery take?
The surgery usually takes one to two hours, but can take longer for more complicated cases.

How long will I be in the hospital?
Most patients will remain in the hospital for one to two days; however this can vary.

Will I need a sling following surgery?
Yes, you will be fitted for a sling pre-operatively and you will wear this sling for several weeks.

Will I need someone with me at home following discharge from the hospital?
Yes, if you return home following discharge from the hospital, you will need to have assistance for approximately 5 to 7 days.

How long will I have physical therapy following surgery?
All shoulder replacement patients will spend the first couple weeks following surgery protecting their shoulder joint. However, therapy will work with the patient on certain types of exercises such as the pendulum (an exercise where you hang you arm down and swing in back and forth like the pendulum of a clock). The surgeon will provide you with a physical therapy prescription at your 7-10 day follow-up visit.

When will my pain go away?
The arthritic pain you experience before surgery will be gone following surgery. The pain you experience following surgery will surgical/muscle pain. You can expect to experience pain for several weeks following surgery; however, the pain will decrease as time passes.

Is there anything I can do to damage my new shoulder?
You will have certain precautions that must be followed after surgery. The therapist will review these precautions with you. You should avoid quick, sharp movements, falls and stress to your shoulder joint.

How soon can I shower following surgery?
If you have no drainage, you will leave the hospital without a dressing. If you have drainage, you will leave the hospital with a waterproof dressing over your incision. You may shower at home with or without the dressing, but do NOT rub the incision. You will remove the dressing the day after you return home and you may continue to shower normally (NO BATHS). Gently pat the incisional area dry. If your incision continues to drain, cover with gauze and change twice daily until the drainage stops.


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