Recovery time after shoulder replacement surgery
Patients are typically able to go home the day after surgery. The hospital stay is usually no longer than three days, and throughout that time, doctors and their nurses will ensure that you don’t suffer the immediate complications of the surgery. When everything is clear, you will be able to go home and start your recovery outside of the hospital.
After this surgery, you should be able to resume most normal activities after two to six weeks. During this time, you will need a sling to protect your joint. As noted, you can start your normal activities in only 15 days or may need more than one month to recover. It all depends on the type of surgery you underwent and its complexity.
You may experience some pain and stiffness during the first days, so you’ll be given pain medication to control your symptoms. Patients may also experience swelling and bruising after the surgery. Report them if they are very severe and appear suddenly and accompanied by pain.
You’ll also need to follow a post-surgical rehabilitation program, usually performed by a physical therapist who visits your home and guides you every time. The physical therapy will be programmed soon after completing the surgery, and you must complete all the programs, including any exercise that is recommended to do by yourself.
During this recovery period, it is also essential to keep in mind these recommendations:
- Don´t push your body to stand from a chair or the bed
- Follow the exercises prescribed for you to the letter
- Don’t push yourself too much. Report any shoulder pain you experience while performing an exercise to ensure it is normal.
- For 2 to 4 weeks, do not lift anything heavier than 200 or 300 grams
- Avoid contact sports and anything that requires repetitive handwork
- Avoid stretching your hands excessively behind your body or to the sides
- Ask for assistance before and after surgery. Part of your surgery planning should include asking your family or a friend to assist you during the first weeks of recovery or until you’re clear to do house chores on your own.
In conclusion, there are many shoulder replacement procedures available to the patient. There are surgical procedures that involve removing and replacing the whole joint. Others remove the joint partially and leave some parts intact. You can even have resurfacing surgery, which involves replacing only the damaged surface of the joint while leaving the healthy surface intact.
Each surgery variant has its own indications, recovery time, costs, benefits, and risks. But what they all have in common is that they are complex procedures that a very skilled surgeon should perform. This is an important surgery that can sometimes be very difficult and stressful for your body and may require a lengthy recovery period. Thus, the patient must be fully aware of all the risks before they are under the scalpel.
There are risks involved, as in every medical procedure, but shoulder replacement surgery is safe and has a very high success rate. It has improved the quality of life in many people with chronic shoulder pain that does not improve with any other conservative method and can also work for you.
If you have shoulder pain and want to know more about shoulder replacement surgery, visit an orthopedic surgeon and ask every question you have about this topic before deciding anything.