Woman with doctor performing shoulder surgery recovery exercise.

Patients can receive shoulder surgery for a wide variety of reasons, including but not limited to pain, instability and weakness. Regardless of why, one thing is for certain: Shoulder surgery and recovery should never be taken lightly. For any men or women that have recently undergone shoulder surgery of any kind—be it a shoulder reconstruction surgery or a shoulder replacement surgery—try these tips to make the recovery process a fast and simple one.

1. Enlist a helper to assist you, post-surgery.

Shoulder surgeries require a prolonged period of recovery that can be as long as four to six months. During that time, especially early on, time should be dedicated solely to recovery to allow for decreased pain and inflammation. Following surgery, the first several days can be challenging as the post surgical patient begins readjusting to their new limitations. Enlisting a friend or family member to help during this initial adjustment can ease the post surgical physical and mental stresses associated with post-operative surgery. Here’s a great tip, for summer time yard work hire a service to complete mowing your lawn

2. Attend physical therapy sessions.  

Recovery begins as soon as you awake from surgery. Physical therapy is a critical part of recovery, especially after shoulder arthroscopy. Home exercises begin immediately following surgery and continue with a licensed physical therapist several times per week. During each personalized exercise session, your therapist will progress your motion and strength. Exercises learned will benefit you throughout the recovery and help prevent re-injury in the future. Compliance in performing required exercises is crucial in recovery.

3. Eat a balanced diet.    

It’s common for shoulder surgery patients to experience bowel movement issues after their procedure, specifically constipation due to use of medications and the stress the body underwent with surgery. While it’s best to consult a doctor in the event that a bowel movement has not happened after a few days post-surgery, consuming foods that are high in fiber is another option for combating surgery-related constipation. Broccoli, black beans and prunes are all good examples. Eating a balanced diet post-operatively allows your body to replenish minerals, nutrients and vitamins needed for your bodies systems to return to normal function and promote recovery.

4. Wear your shoulder immobilizer. 

Recovery time might be filled with good days and bad—but it’s important to wear your UltraSling initially. Your sling will become your friend for the first four to eight weeks. The use of this device assists patients maintaining an optimal healing position without causing undue stress on the repaired structures as you increase activity upon returning to work, school or light aerobic activity. As your pain improves your sling will remind you not to actively use your shoulder. Success of the surgery is inhibited by active movements. Healing of the repaired tissues doesn’t even begin until 12 to 16 weeks post-surgery.

5.    Initially don’t overdo it.

Shoulder surgery recovery time will entail periods in which the shoulder pain and discomfort dissipate. Cardiovascular activity such as light cycling or even walking has been shown to help with healing, but overdoing it initially can worsen your overall symptoms. Most medical professionals encourage patients to be patient and ease themselves back into their daily and exercise routines as their symptoms allow. It is important to avoid any physical activity that will jeopardize shoulder recovery.

Consult an Orthopaedic Surgeon for  Shoulder Surgery

If you’re considering surgical management or seek a second opinion concerning a recommend shoulder surgery, you should consult with the experienced orthopaedic staff and shoulder surgeon Dr Roger Chams. To contact Dr. Chams fill out the form online, and we promise to get back to you as soon as possible.