Recovering from shoulder replacement surgery is a crucial phase in the journey toward restoring pain-free mobility and functionality of the shoulder joint.
The recovery timeline depends on the type of shoulder replacement you had – total shoulder replacement, partial shoulder replacement or reverse shoulder replacement – and may vary from individual to individual.
Here are some tips to confidently navigate your shoulder replacement recovery phase and achieve the best possible outcomes.
What Recovering from Shoulder Replacement Surgery is Like?
The recovery phase starts immediately after your surgery procedure ends. After the surgery, you will be moved into your recovery room, where you will stay for at least two hours.
Once you are awake from anesthesia, you will be taken into the hospital room, where the staff will check for your vital signs, shoulder dressing, and movement and sensations in the hand.
Typically, you will stay in the surgery center for 2 to 4 days. During this time, your pain will be managed, and you will be encouraged to move out of bed and around.
In the surgery center, you will also work with a physical therapist who will teach you some specific exercises to regain full arm and shoulder movement. They will also teach you how to continue the exercises at home.
In the hospital, you may also meet an occupational therapist who may provide you with instruction and assistive devices that will help you maintain your shoulder independence and prevent re-injury.
Before your discharge from the surgery center, you will be given some instructions that you must follow to ensure a safe and quick recovery. These instructions include:
Take Your Medications
You will be prescribed pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, and aspirin to prevent blood clots in the treated area.
Take pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed.
Care For Your Incision
One week after your surgery, during your first follow-up appointment, your stitches will be removed, and the incision will be covered with a dry bandage.
You will be advised to keep your incision clean and change your dressing daily. Also, watch for signs of infection like swelling, draining, redness, and pain. Your surgeon may also allow you to take a shower. After you finish showering, make sure to dry the wound by patting it.
Follow Your Physical Therapy Plan
You will be advised to continue performing physical therapy exercises your physical therapist taught you in the hospital. You may also have a follow-up appointment with your physical therapist in which you will learn some specific exercises to strengthen your arm and shoulder.
You may be advised to keep wearing a sling. However, you can loosen the sling to perform daily activities like eating, shaving, writing, etc.
You may regain your full shoulder movement approximately six weeks after the surgery. Once you regain your full range of motion, you can probably resume driving.
Attend Your Follow-up Appointments
You will be advised to attend all your follow-up visits with your surgeon, which will probably be scheduled at one week, two-week, six weeks, three months, six months, and 12 months following shoulder replacement surgery. During these visits, your orthopedic surgeon will assess the status and function of your shoulder.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery in Kansas City
If you have shoulder pain, stiffness, and swelling due to shoulder arthritis, you may find relief in shoulder replacement surgery.
Here at Midwest Orthopaedics, our orthopedic surgeons are exceptionally skilled and experienced in diagnosing and treating a wide range of musculoskeletal system disorders and conditions, including arthritis. Our shoulder surgeon uses advanced techniques and equipment to perform shoulder replacement surgeries that offer excellent outcomes.
Besides, our shoulder surgeon, physical therapists, and staff will be there while you embark on the journey of recovering from shoulder replacement surgery.