Post-op (Total Shoulder) Find a Location Find a Provider Total Joint Center Department Phone Numbers Total Knee Frequently Asked Questions Pre-op Post-op Information for Caregivers Total Hip Frequently Asked Questions Pre-op Post-op Information for Caregivers Patient Success Stories Total Shoulder Frequently Asked Questions Pre-op Post-op Total Ankle Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers Complications Although joint replacements are often extremely successful, it is important to be aware of certain post-surgical complications that can arise. Seek medical attention immediately if you are concerned about your new joint replacement or your overall health status. Some complications that could arise are: Infection An infection is caused by bacteria growing in the wound. Seek medical attention if you have: Increased swelling, pain or redness Increased amount of drainage Foul odor Temperature > 101 Wound breaks open Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT/Blood clot) Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT/Blood clot) is a clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Seek medical attention if you have: Severe pain or tenderness in the leg or arm Increased warmth in the area of the leg/arm that is swollen or painful Red or discolored skin on the leg/arm Constipation Constipation is hard formed stool or difficult passage of bowel movements. To prevent constipation, you can: Increase fiber in your diet Increase your activity Drink fluids Consider a bowel regimen (including medications) laxatives, suppositories, or enemas as needed Home Safety Guidelines At discharge, two medications will be prescribed: Aspirin: prescribed as prevention for blood clots. Side effects can include: Belly pain Heartburn Upset stomach Pain Medication: prescribed based on your pain needs at discharge. Side effects can include: Constipation Upset stomach Nausea Rash/itching Take medications only as prescribed by your physician. DO NOT take any anti-inflammatory medications while on blood thinners unless ordered by your physician. Appointments It is important to follow up as directed by your orthopaedic surgeon. At your follow-up appointments you can expect that x-rays will be done, your incision will be examined for signs of proper healing and staples will be removed. To schedule your follow-up appointment, please call Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers at (859) 301-2663. Your appointment should take place between 7 and 14 days following surgery. Some patients may be asked to follow up with their primary care physician as well as schedule their outpatient/home physician therapy sessions. Incision Care Please follow these guidelines regarding your incision: Wash your hands often with soap and water. The dressing applied to your incision is waterproof; therefore, if you go home with a dressing in place, you may shower on the day after you return home. However, avoid baths, hot tubs and swimming pools until directed by your physician. The dressing should be removed the day after you get home from the hospital and left open to air; however, leave the steri-strips in place. If your incision is still draining, cover it with gauze and change twice daily until the drainage stops. DO NOT apply creams, powders, lotions or medications to your incision area. Sling Use Please follow these instructions following surgery: The sling should be on at all times when in public or sleeping. You may remove the sling three times per day to move the elbow, wrist and fingers. You can remove the sling for showering, but it must be put back on immediately upon completion. Avoid using the operative hand for activities of daily living.