Shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing either a portion of or the entire damaged shoulder with prosthesis. Shoulder replacement surgery is typically recommended as a last-resort treatment—when chronic shoulder pain, limited mobility, and other symptoms no longer respond to conservative interventions.
If you’re contemplating getting a shoulder replacement to help you restore your normal function and quality of life, visit us at Total Orthopaedic Care in Lauderdale Lakes or Pembroke Pines in Florida for a comprehensive evaluation. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons have established a reputation of excellence in all areas of orthopedic care, including joint replacement procedures. If, based on the results, we deem that you’re a candidate for a shoulder replacement, you can trust us to take all necessary measures to ensure that you have a successful recovery.
With that in mind, we are sharing a few shoulder replacement recovery tips from one of our orthopedic physicians. Check these out.
- Strictly follow all postoperative instructions.
Follow your doctor’s postoperative instructions down to the letter. Your aftercare instructions will likely include the following:
- Your orthopedic doctor will prescribe pain medications to relieve pain and swelling. These medications can upset your stomach, so try taking them with food.
- You may apply ice pack on the operated shoulder for fifteen to thirty minutes, every three to four hours as necessary, in order to relieve pain. To protect your skin, make sure to wrap it in a cloth before putting it on your shoulder.
- Avoid overextending your arm, as this increases your risk of dislocating it, which may impede your shoulder replacement recovery.
- Refrain from lifting anything heavier than a glass of water for the first four weeks.
- Do not drive for three to four weeks after surgery. Wait for your doctor to give you the go-ahead as to when you can drive again. While recovering, it also pays to have someone do errands for you until you’re fully capable of doing things on your own.
- Consider making adjustments to fall-proof your home, such as installing handrails in your shower room and adjusting the light at staircases. A fall would set your shoulder replacement recovery back, so taking extra precautions wouldn’t hurt.
o Commit to physical therapy.
Physical therapy is an essential component of your shoulder replacement recovery. If the joint is left immobilized for too long, the muscles can get stiff and weaken. Your physical therapist will demonstrate exercises that you can do at home to relieve pain, improve mobility, and restore your shoulder’s normal range of motion.
The specific exercises your PT will incorporate into your program will depend on your overall health. But generally, you will start with gentle stretching exercises, which are essentially aimed at mobilizing the joint and preventing stiffness. Over time, the exercises will increase in intensity as the focus shifts to muscle strengthening and injury prevention. After several weeks, you may begin rope and pulley exercises to build muscle strength.
The success of your surgery greatly hinges on your commitment to follow your physical rehabilitation plan.
o Make sure to attend follow-up appointments.
After surgery, you should continue to work closely with your doctor. Be sure to attend scheduled follow-up appointments, where your doctor will check on your progress and/or make adjustments to your exercise plan, as needed.
Additionally, if you experience any of the following symptoms, visit your doctor right away:
- Drainage or bleeding from the incision
- Fever, chills
- Loss of sensation, numbness, tingling
- Persistent shoulder pain
- Chest pain
Shoulder Replacement Surgery in Pembroke Pines and Lauderdale Lakes, FL
To schedule an appointment with one of our providers, call us today at (954) 735-3535 or fill out our online appointment request form. We have convenient locations in Pembroke Pines and Lauderdale Lakes to serve you.