Shoulder Surgery Recovery; What to Expect

Shoulder replacement is a major surgery that necessitates extensive planning and recovery time.

Some patients have the erroneous belief that they will be able to resume their normal activities shortly following surgery. However, depending on the surgery and its success, full recovery and enjoyment of the advantages can take up to six months (often even longer).

The first month of shoulder replacement recovery is critical, and it’s critical to follow professional advice to avoid issues and ensure a smooth recovery.

Here’s everything you need to know about recovering from a shoulder replacement.

Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Total shoulder replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is performed to address pain and other symptoms caused by shoulder joint deterioration.

Certain osteonecrosis patients require shoulder replacement surgery. Osteonecrosis is a condition that causes bone cells to die, culminating in the collapse of the joint and bone.

Complications of Surgery

All of the aforementioned conditions result in shoulder pain, stiffness, and weakness. Your doctor will recommend total shoulder replacement surgery if non-surgical therapy such as drugs and lifestyle changes do not work.

The injured sections of the humerus bone (head and socket) are removed and replaced with artificial components during surgery.

These are known as prostheses and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

While total shoulder replacement is a highly effective procedure with few problems, they do occur. They include prosthesis loosening and fracture, infection, hemorrhage, shoulder instability, rotator cuff tears, and fractures.

Recovery from Shoulder Replacement

If you have no issues following your shoulder replacement surgery recovery, you will be able to resume regular activities and even sports without pain and discomfort.

After the post-surgery anesthetic wears off, expect to have your arm in a sling for up to six months.

Your recovery period after shoulder replacement surgery will be determined by your specific situation, progress, and whether you follow your doctor’s instructions.

The First Month Following Total Shoulder Replacement

Although your shoulder replacement surgery recovery begins at the hospital, you should prepare ahead for your at-home recovery to ensure the best possible care. Otherwise, you may experience nighttime shoulder ache that prevents you from sleeping.

Before you go to the hospital, here are some shoulder replacement recovery tips:

  • Place your most often used goods within easy reach, or ask a family member to do so.

  • Place the clothes you’ll want to wear near your bed, making sure they’re easy to put on and don’t have any over-head tops or elaborate designs.

  • During the first week after surgery, ask a family member or a friend to assist you. You may require assistance with food preparation, dressing, showering, and other tasks.

  • Have someone transport you home from the hospital and plan a taxi because you will not be able to drive and maybe weak.

Following Shoulder Surgery

Every patient reacts differently following surgery, depending on their overall health, the success of the procedure, and other circumstances. However, here’s what to expect.

  • Many post-operative patients are unable to move their fingers and wrists for a day or so after surgery. This is a common symptom, and the function will return, so don’t be surprised; just be ready.

  • Inflammation and bruises on your hand and arm are possible. This is caused by the shoulder bruising that occurs during surgery and is completely natural.

  • Prepare to spend a couple of nights in the hospital for observation and to address any potential issues.

  • You should be able to consume ordinary food the next day.

Recovery from Total Shoulder Replacement

Your shoulder replacement rehabilitation will begin in the hospital, where your doctors will give you some basic exercises to help avoid blood clotting, speed up healing, strengthen your muscles, and reduce the formation of scar tissue.

You’ll begin in the hospital, but you should continue doing the exercises at home as well.

To reduce swelling and prevent blood clots, you will most likely be given pain medication, such as aspirin.

Your recovery will continue at home if your doctor feels you are ready.

At-Home Shoulder Recovery

The initial week and month are critical in your rehabilitation since you will be at your most vulnerable.

We urge that you arrange for support because you will be unable to drive or undertake a large portion of your normal tasks. If you feel shoulder pain or popping, pay attention to it, but don’t overwork the muscles.

The First Week Post Op

To prevent blood clots and gradually develop a range of motion and strength, your doctor will ask you to practice tiny, basic exercises.

Since your surgery incision needs to be kept dry, you won’t be advised to take full showers or baths.

Obtain assistance with daily duties such as dressing, cooking, and so on, after surgery, for up to four weeks.

While you will be able to accomplish daily duties more easily and pain will lessen, you will still be wearing a sling and should avoid lifting any heavy objects.

This is the greatest time to begin physical therapy and maintain your workout routine.

Is Physical Therapy an Option?

Physical therapy is one of the most effective techniques to assure a speedy recovery.

Exercises will be taught to you by your doctor or physical therapist to help you recover.

Different techniques, such as manual treatment, electrical stimulation, and others, may be used by your physical therapist.

Shoulder replacement recovery is a crucial stage following surgery that will aid in your healing and recovery.

It entails being attentive to and avoiding activities that could delay your recovery, as well as engaging in physical therapy with exercises and other modalities to achieve the best results possible.

If you are in the Asheville, NC area and considering physical therapy for post shoulder surgery rehabilitation, we’d love to CONNECT with you.

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