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Total Shoulder Replacements

The Total Shoulder Replacement booklet will be provided to you by your consultant. Please bring it with you at all stages of your operation.

click here to view the booklet in full

What can I do to make the operation a success?

If you smoke please try to stop or reduce.

Try to maintain a healthy weight, the risk of complications is higher if you are overweight.

If you have a long term conditions like diabetes, asthma, bronchitis, thyroid problems, heart problems or high blood pressure, you should ask your GP if you need a review.

Continue with any useful exercises you have previously been given.

Follow the instructions given to you by the hospital staff about your surgery.


What happens before I come to hospital?

Pre-assessment – before your operation you will need to attend a pre-assessment screening appointment to assess whether you are well enough to have surgery.

You will be told at pre-assessment when to start fasting and when to stop taking certain medications.

There will also be an opportunity to contact the therapy team if you have concerns about not managing at home after the operation. Please contact the Calderdale Therapy Team on  01422 223554 if you are concerned about managing after the operation


What can I do to prepare for a hospital stay?

Remove jewellery, piercings, nail polish or false nails

Transport: patients are responsible for their own transport to and from the hospital. Please arrange for a friend, relative or taxi to transport you. It is not appropriate to use public transport to travel home after the operation.

Do not bring valuables into the hospital with you.

Mobile phones are allowed.

Pack comfortable, loose fitting clothing and suitable footwear

Following your surgery you will be required to wear a sling for a period of time which will make daily tasks more difficult than normal. Before your surgery it is advisable to arrange for assistance with shopping/making easy meals. You may also consider moving regularly used kitchen items within easy reach (so you don’t need to reach up post-surgery).



  • On the day of your surgery you may be asked to arrive at 7am. Please note that most operating lists run all day and your operation may not take place until the late afternoon, depending on the order and progress of the list.

    • The hospital should have given you clear instructions about eating and drinking. These instructions are important, please follow them.

    • If you are still smoking, you should not smoke on the day of your operation.

    • Most medicines should be continued but there are some important exceptions. You will need specific instructions from the pre-assessment team about your tablets.

    • If you feel unwell when you are due to come to the hospital please telephone the ward for advice.

    • The anaesthetist and surgeon will make some final checks to ensure you are fit for surgery and answer any questions you may have.

    • Your consent to proceed with the operation will be confirmed by the surgical team.

    •  Your anaesthetist will discuss the type of anaesthesia you will be having.



You will be transferred to the recovery room to be monitored as the general anaesthetic wears off, and then to the ward. Your arm will be supported in a sling and there will be a dressing over the wound. If you have had a nerve block, your arm and hand will feel numb for up to 24 hours. Whilst the block is working you will not be able to use your arm. As the block wears off you may experience pins and needles in your fingers, this is normal.

Good pain relief after the operation is important; it is much easier to relieve pain if it is dealt with before it gets bad. Please tell the nursing staff if you have pain.

Most people will stay in hospital overnight on a ward, some are seen as a ‘daycase’ and do not need to stay overnight. Your consultant will have discussed this with you prior to your surgery. You will have your observations monitored and be given something to eat and drink. The therapy team will see you within a couple of hours post-operatively.

After your operation you will be seen by a member of the therapy team. They will teach you how to take your sling on and off and show you the post-operative exercises to do. You will need to do these exercises regularly after the operation. The therapy team will ensure that you are safe to return home and will be able to look after yourself.

Try to complete 10 repetitions of each exercise, 3 times per day. If the exercises cause discomfort or a mild ache this is normal. If you are in an unmanageable amount of pain doing your exercises please contact the inpatient therapy team.

Neck movements in all directions


Shoulder Shrugs and Rolls

Wrist and Hand Movements

Elbow Movements - regularly bend and straighten your elbow .



Table Slides

Sit at a table with a towel under your hands.

Gently slide the hands forward and return to the start position, do not force or stretch the shoulder.






Caring For The Wound

You will have stitches running along the wound on the front of your shoulder. The wound will be covered by a dressing which will need to be kept clean and dry. The large bulky dressing is removed on the ward prior to discharge. The smaller dressing is left in place for 2 weeks.

During this 2 weeks you should not touch it, get it wet or attempt to replace it. If you have any problems with the dressing or the wound after being discharged from the hospital please contact either the ward or the hospital outpatient treatment room on:

Huddersfield 01484 342559

Calderdale 01422 223663

The dressing will be removed and the stitches trimmed at your outpatient follow-up appointment approximately 2 weeks after your surgery, to allow them to dissolve.



The discharge paperwork will be sent to your GP practice. A follow-up outpatient appointment will be arranged for you with the orthopaedic team for approximately 2 weeks after the operation. Here your wound will be checked and we will ensure that you are making progress as expected.

If you have not received an appointment in the orthopaedic clinic within 1 week of discharge then please contact your consultant’s secretary using the numbers at the front of this booklet.

Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH)




Switchboard: 01422 357171


Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI)

Acre Street




Main Main Switchboard: 01484 342000


Orthopaedic Ward (CRH) 01422 223801

Orthopaedic Ward (HRI) 01484 343623


Inpatient Therapy Services (CRH) 01422 223554  7 days a week, 8am – 4pm

Inpatient Therapy Services (HRI) 01484 342808

Outpatient Physiotherapy Services 01484 728941 Monday - Friday 8am – 4.30pm



Physiotherapy Website



Consultant Secretaries

Mr Pennington:  Janeen Stephenson 01484 342214

Mr Fogerty:       Margaret Thomas 01484 342343