Pre-operative assessment is required prior to the majority of elective surgical procedures, primarily to ensure that the patient is fit to undergo surgery, whilst identifying issues that may need to be dealt with by the surgical or anaesthetic teams.

 The post-operative management of elective surgical patients begins during the peri-operative period and involves several health professionals. Appropriate monitoring and repeated clinical assessments are required in order for the signs of surgical complications to be recognised swiftly and adequately.

This article examines the literature regarding pre-operative assessment in elective orthopaedic surgery and shoulder surgery, whilst also reviewing the essentials of peri- and post-operative care. The need to recognise common post-operative complications early and promptly is also evaluated, along with discussing thromboprophylaxis and post-operative analgesia following shoulder surgery.

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