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Shoulder Surgery

Shoulder surgery can repair injured muscles, tendons, cartilage, tissue or bones in and around the shoulder joint. The goal of surgery is to restore function to the shoulder, helping you move through your day pain free and enjoy your favorite sports or activities again.

Types of Shoulder Surgery

A damaged rotator cuff can be repaired using arthroscopic surgery techniques.
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At Temple Health, we offer a wide range of surgical options from minimally invasive procedures to advanced surgeries. Common shoulder surgeries include:

  • Shoulder instability/labrum surgery – Arthroscopic repair of the shoulder labrum, the thick cartilage lining the rim of the socket, and the capsule are performed following dislocation or repetitive stress that damages the capsule and labrum as seen in contact and overhead activities.

  • Rotator cuff repair – Damage to the rotator cuff is commonly caused by repetitive motion or overhead activities, but can be acute related to a traumatic injury. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair uses small suture anchors to repair the damaged tendon back to the bone to restore motion, strength and function of the shoulder.

  • Shoulder replacement – The ball and socket shoulder joint is replaced with artificial parts made of metal and plastics to restore movement and reduce pain in the shoulder caused by advanced arthritis, complex fractures and other serious, chronic conditions.


Shoulder surgery replacement is a complex procedure and recovery can vary across individuals. Talk to your doctor about what you should expect after your procedure.

Recovery Timeline

A total shoulder replacement surgery generally takes about 2-3 hours, including anesthesia. After surgery, you can expect to:

  • Begin supervised physical therapy exercises the day after surgery
  • Stay in the hospital for two to three days
  • Follow your surgeon’s discharge instructions the first few weeks after surgery
  • Avoid showers or getting your incision wet until after your follow-up appointment
  • Wear a sling for four to six weeks after surgery
  • Resume driving approximately six weeks after surgery
Physical Therapy Exercises

Physical therapy is an important step in strengthening your shoulder and arm after shoulder replacement surgery. A physical therapist works closely with you in the hospital and as an outpatient to teach you exercises rebuild your strength and function in your shoulder.

Medications to Manage Pain and Inflammation

After surgery, your provider prescribes pain medication and anti-inflammatories to help reduce pain and swelling. Take medications as instructed.

Incision Care

It’s important to properly care for your incision after shoulder replacement to reduce your risk of infection. Call your doctor immediately if you notice swelling, drainage, redness or pain around your incision or if you develop a fever. When caring for your incision, be sure to:

  • Keep your incision clean and dry after leaving the hospital
  • Change the dressing as instructed by your physician
Follow-up Care

Your care team works with you to schedule your first follow-up appointment, usually 10-14 days after your procedure. During this appointment, X-rays are taken to allow your doctor to see how the shoulder prosthesis is positioned and to remove stitches or staples from the incision site. 

After your initial follow-up, additional appointments are made with your surgeon for up to year to ensure you are able to return to all of your desired activities

Receive the Highest Quality Care at Temple Health 

Our multidisciplinary team of specialists collaborates to offer the highest quality care for our patients who need shoulder surgery. Our understanding of the complex problems associated with shoulder pain and injuries helps patients receive the latest advances in care. 

At Temple Health, our experienced team is committed to educating our patients on the extent and possible outcomes of their injuries, and walking you through each of your treatment options. We’re here to treat your shoulder, reduce your pain and restore function so you can get back to the activities you most enjoy.

Hear From Our Patients

Temple patient, Mayra

Learn how we helped Mayra understand her shoulder injury and deliver the care and support she needed.

Ready for an Appointment?

Find a doctor near you, request an appointment, or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.