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Discharge Day

Many total shoulder replacement patients go home the day after surgery, but some require a two-night stay in the hospital. This may be decided in advance, but sometimes your physician’s post-surgery observation of your physical condition may determine your discharge date.

When the shoulder team and you feel you are ready, you will begin the series of activities, which will prepare you for going home. These activities are important in preparation for your successful transition home from the hospital.

In order to be discharged home from the hospital, you must have or must be able to do the following:

  • Stand and walk without feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Tolerate food and fluid
  • Manage your pain. As your regional anesthetic wears off you can anticipate some discomfort in your shoulder. However, the nursing staff will monitor this and provide you with pain medication and ice.
  • Medical clearance (labs are therapeutic and vital signs are normal)
  • Therapy clearance (walk around without difficulty, perform exercises, and manage your sling)

When these criteria are met, your IV will be removed by your nurse and you will be assisted in getting dressed. Remember, you still must ask for assistance when out of bed from an HSS staff member until you are discharged from the hospital.

You will receive detailed discharge instructions from your nurse. Your prescription for a pain medication will be sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice, which you should pick up as soon as possible. You will be provided with the physical scripts at the time of your discharge if you live out of state or your pharmacy does not accept electronic prescriptions.

  • You will be asked to make a follow up appointment with your surgeon 10-14 days later.
  • You may need to make a post-operative outpatient rehabilitation session based upon your surgeon’s recommendations. Please bring this guide when you come for your appointment.