Preparing for Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Preparing for Shoulder Replacement Surgery

This Pre-Surgery Checklist is typical. Ask your CJRI physician about any special preparations you might need to make.

  • Weight Loss  
  • If you are overweight, your doctor may ask you to lose some weight before surgery to potentially decrease the risks of surgery.
  • Medical Evaluation  
  • If you decide to have total shoulder replacement surgery, you may be asked to have a complete physical by your family physician several weeks before surgery to assess your health, and to rule out any conditions that could interfere with your surgery.
  • Dental Evaluation  
  • Although the incidence of infection after shoulder replacement is very low, an infection can occur if bacteria enter the bloodstream. Treatment of significant dental diseases (including tooth extractions and periodontal work) should be considered before your total shoulder replacement surgery.
  • Urological Evaluation 
  • A preoperative urological evaluation should be considered for individuals with a history of recent or frequent urinary infections. For older men with prostate disease, treatment should be considered prior to shoulder replacement surgery.
  • Tests  
  • Several tests, such as blood tests, a urine test, and a cardiogram, may be needed to help your orthopedic surgeon plan your surgery.
  • Preparing Your Skin and Shoulder 
  • Your shoulder should not have any skin infections or irritation. Your arm should not have any chronic swelling. Contact your orthopedic surgeon prior to surgery if either of these conditions is present, for a program to best prepare your skin for surgery.
  • Medications  
  • Tell your orthopedic surgeon about the medications you are taking. You may be instructed to discontinue use of certain ones before surgery.
  • Social Planning  
  • You will need help for the first several weeks with such tasks as cooking, shopping, bathing, and transportation. If you live alone, case management at the hospital can help you make advance arrangements to have someone assist you at home.
  • Home Planning -- Make your home life easier during your recovery:
    • Stock up on nutritious ready-made and microwavable meals
    • Place items that you regularly use at arm level, so you don't have to reach up or bend down
    • Remove all loose carpets and electrical cords from the areas where you walk in your home
    • Reduce and/or eliminate clutter, which can be a safety hazard
    • Set up a "recovery center" in  your home in which phone, television remote control, facial tissues, wastebasket, pitcher and glass, reading materials, and medications are all within reach
    • Place a shower hose in your bath or shower 
    • Organize your clothes closets and drawers for easier access of clothing you plan to wear after surgery
    • Wear loose-fitting, stretchable clothing with minimal or no fasteners
    • Consider shirts that button in the front, or that have large neck openings 

Joint Replacement to Restore Motion and Renew Vitality

Total knee, hip, and shoulder replacement surgery, as well as other surgical and non-surgical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis of the joints.

Call 1-866-501-2574