Your doctor

Before performing the shoulder replacement, your doctor will prescribe a complete physical examination to assess your condition and to ensure that there are no risk factors that could interfere with your operation. 

Your doctor may ask you for a blood test, urine test and possibly a cardiogram prior to your surgery.

Do a complete checkup

If your arm and/or shoulder have any skin infections or irritation, contact your orthopaedic surgeon prior to surgery: he or she will tell you how best to prepare your skin for surgery.

The incidence of infection after shoulder replacement is very low, but even an infection far from the joint can spread through the bloodstream to the shoulder. Prevention is the best way to avoid complications. Contact your dentist to have your teeth checked before your shoulder replacement surgery.


Prior to surgery, provide your surgeon with a complete list of your medications, including doses and times. He or she will inform you if you need to stop or change any medication.

Special equipment

Following the procedure, special equipment, such as an arm brace, may be required. You can rent or buy these from specialized shops. Check with your physiotherapist.

Arrange for help

  • You will not be able to drive or lift weight for at least four weeks after surgery.
  • Make arrangements to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours.
  • Have family or friends available to assist you once you’re home.


Reduce your risk of a fall

  • Remove any rugs and tack down loose carpeting to help avoid falls.
  • Remove electrical cords, telephone cords, toys, and other tripping hazards.
  • Place regularly used items such as remote controls, medications, and reading materials in convenient and easy-to-reach locations.
  • Place frequently used cooking and bathroom supplies where they can be easily reached.
  • Place a slip-proof mat in the shower.
  • Avoid clothes that require you to pull them over your head.