What to Expect During Your Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery Recovery

September 29th, 2014

 If you and your doctor have determined that a total shoulder replacement surgery is the right step for you to take toward relieving your pain and restoring the range of motion in your shoulder joint, you probably have a lot of questions regarding the procedure. The surgery itself involves replacing damaged or deteriorated bone and cartilage with prosthetic components. While this sounds complicated, it has a very high success rate, especially among our experienced surgeons. What can be a more complicated process is what takes place over the course of several weeks following your procedure: the total shoulder replacement surgery recovery.

Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery Recovery: Steps Toward a Successful Rehabilitation
Most patients stay in the hospital for two or three days following shoulder replacement surgery, during which time your pain and swelling will be managed with medication and ice to keep you feeling comfortable. When the initial regional anesthesia wears off, which usually happens between 12 and 18 hours following your surgery, you will be able to make a fist and hold it for a few seconds. This exercise should be repeated from time to time to assist circulation.
For the first few weeks of total shoulder replacement surgery recovery, your arm will be kept in a sling to facilitate proper healing. As early as the first day after the procedure, your doctor will teach you some simple exercises you can perform on your own to keep your elbow and shoulder from becoming stiff. You will also receive some easy instructions for taking care of your wound and gradually regaining mobility when you return home. A physical therapist can help you will some more intense exercises, but you may continue to perform easy exercises at home. After about six weeks, you may be able to get back to driving. Depending on the level of physical activity at your job, you should be able to return to work within a few weeks, as well.
Rothman Orthopaedic Institute has a high success rate with total shoulder replacement surgeries, and we are available to answer any of your questions or concerns about the operation and the recovery process. Contact us today for more information.
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