Total shoulder replacement surgery has a very high rate of success and satisfaction among patients. Most people who undergo this surgery enjoy significant pain relief and improved function for 10 years or more, because the damaged parts of the shoulder joint are replaced with prosthetic materials in order to restore your normal joint function.
If you are wondering what the recovery period is like after having shoulder replacement surgery, let’s talk about what you can expect.
Immediately After Shoulder Replacement Surgery
After the surgery, it will be difficult to move your hand and fingers on that arm. You will be given medication to control the pain and swelling in your shoulder.
The anesthesia from the operation will continue to provide a degree of pain relief until the next day. Once you are able to move your hand and fingers, you will be asked to do some small movements to keep the blood circulating.
Depending on the facility and your recovery rate, you may need to stay for another two or three days. A physical therapist or occupational therapist will teach you how to move safely with your new shoulder. You can expect to wear a sling for about a month following surgery.
The stitches will need to be removed a week after the operation. Be on the lookout for signs of infection such as redness, oozing, and fever, in which case you should call your doctor immediately.
Physical Therapy During Shoulder Surgery Recovery
Physical therapy is a key part of rehabilitation after shoulder replacement surgery. Strengthening exercises through arm and shoulder movements are important, and they may start as early as the first day after surgery.
Physical therapy focuses on stretching and strengthening the surrounding muscles in order to relieve pain and prevent stiffness. An occupational therapist can show you how to safely return to performing your daily activities without causing harm to your new shoulder.
When Can You Expect to Be Fully Recovered?
You should be able to regain full shoulder movement six weeks after surgery. At that point, there’s no longer any swelling, and you will have been doing your physical therapy exercises at least twice a day.
Some patients are then able to return to work and to drive. For every activity that you wish to re-engage in, make sure to check with your surgeon.
Generally, contact sports and vigorous exercise are not recommended even a year after surgery. Your doctor will want you to continue having follow-up visits in order to check whether the replacement joint is working well.
Shoulder Replacement Surgeon in North Dakota
Here at The Bone & Joint Center, our highly skilled and experienced orthopedic surgeons are able to perform minimally invasive arthroscopy for shoulder joint replacement. Our patients report less pain and faster recovery from this advanced procedure.
To schedule an appointment, call The Bone & Joint Center today at (800) 424-2663 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you get back to enjoying an active lifestyle once again!