Shoulder Replacement Discharge Instructions


  • Apply ice to shoulder for 15-20 minutes several times daily.
  • Elevate your Head and Shoulder for comfort and to decrease swelling.
  • Wear your sling for 6 weeks. It may be removed to shower, dress and exercise.
  • No driving for 4 weeks.
  • Do not lift anything with the operative arm heavier than a bottle of water for 6 weeks.
  • Do not put weight or lean on the affected arm.
  • Do not sleep on affected shoulder until approved by your surgeon.

Wound Care:

  • You may shower with the Aquacel dressing in place.
  • Remove Aquacel dressing after 7 days.
  • Staples are removed 12-16 days after surgery in the office.


  • Review your discharge paper work regarding your medication regimen.
  • Take your pain medicine as prescribed.
  • Be aware that pain medication can cause constipation so take measures to prevent this from occurring.


  • Perform exercises daily as instructed by the therapist and ice after exercise.
  • It is important to attend physical therapy in order to obtain adequate motion and strength after surgery.
  • You will need to continue your exercises for 3 months after surgery.
  • You may have some pain after or during exercise, but this should resolve and/or improve.

When to call your Surgeon:

  • Temperature above 101 degrees for at least 12 hours.
  • Increasing redness, swelling, drainage of foul odor from the incision.
  • Increasing pain not relieved by medication, elevation and ice.
  • Numbness and tingling of hand that does not improve with position change.