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Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for Upper Limb Surgery

shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand

Upperlimb surgery is a complex procedure that requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some things you can do to get ready for your surgery:

  • Know your risks and benefits. We will talk to you about the risks and benefits of surgery, as well as the alternatives to surgery.

  • Get your health in order. Make sure you are up-to-date on your vaccinations and that you have a healthy blood sugar level.

  • Stop smoking. Smoking can slow down healing and increase your risk of complications.

  • Lose weight if you are overweight. Excess weight can put extra stress on your joints and make surgery more difficult.

  • Make arrangements for transportation home from the hospital. You will not be able to drive yourself home after surgery.

  • Have someone stay with you for the first few days after surgery. You will need help with activities such as bathing, dressing, and getting around.

Preparing for Upper Limb Surgery
On the Day of Surgery

On the Day of Surgery

Before surgery

  • Arrive at the hospital on time.

  • Bring your identification, insurance card, and any other necessary paperwork.

  • Follow the instructions of your doctor and the hospital staff.


After surgery

  • Rest and elevate your arm as much as possible.

  • Take your pain medication as prescribed.

  • Follow the instructions of your doctor and the hospital staff.

Recovery Time, Complications & Aftercare 

Recovery Time

The amount of time it takes to recover from upperlimb surgery varies depending on the type of surgery you have. However, most people can expect to be in a cast or sling for several weeks. You may also need to use crutches or a walker for a period of time.


There are some potential complications associated with upperlimb surgery, such as infection, blood clots, and nerve damage. However, these complications are rare.


After your surgery, you will need to follow your doctor's instructions carefully. This will help you to recover as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

Recovery Time
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • When can I expect to be able to drive again?

  • When can I start using my arm again?

  • What exercises should I do to help with my recovery?

  • What are the signs of infection that I should watch for?

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to talk to your doctor.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind if you are having upperlimb surgery:

  • You may need to wear a sling or brace for several weeks after surgery.

  • You may experience some pain and swelling after surgery.

  • You may need to see a physical therapist to help you regain full use of your arm.

  • It is important to follow your doctor's instructions carefully after surgery to ensure a smooth recovery.

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