Degenerative problems may require replacement of the painful shoulder with an artificial shoulder replacement. The decision to proceed with surgery should be made jointly by you and your doctor only after you feel that you understand as much about the procedure as possible.
Once the decision to proceed with surgery is made, there are several things that may need to be done. Your orthopaedic surgeon may suggest a complete physical examination by your medical or family doctor. This is to ensure that you are in the best possible condition to undergo the operation. You may also need to spend time with the Physical Therapist who will be managing your rehabilitation after the surgery. The therapist will be able to begin the teaching process before the surgery to ensure that you are ready for the rehabilitation afterwards. The physical therapist will record a baseline of information. This includes measurements of your current pain levels, functional abilities, the available movement and strength of each shoulder. A second purpose of the preoperative visit is to prepare you for your upcoming surgery. You will begin to practice some of the exercises you will use just after surgery. Finally, an assessment will be made of any needs you may have at home once you’re released from the hospital. On the day of your surgery, you will probably be admitted to the hospital early in the morning. You will be instructed to not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery. You should plan on being in the hospital for at least one or two nights following surgery.