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What Will My Recovery Be Like After My Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

What Will My Recovery Be Like After My Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

If your shoulder joint doesn’t work as well as it used to, or causes you chronic pain, surgical shoulder replacement could be right for you. After you recover from surgery, your updated shoulder joint functions smoothly, without pain or dysfunction.

At Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Pearson offers total, partial, and reverse shoulder replacements. Dr. Pearson supports his patients with every step of the treatment journey from his locations in Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana.

How long do you have to wait after shoulder surgery to be pain-free? What does recovering from shoulder replacement look like? Here are some details you should know about the process of recovering from shoulder surgery, as you consider whether this procedure is right for you.

Types of shoulder surgery

Your shoulder joint is shaped like a ball and socket. In your shoulder replacement surgery, one or more parts of the shoulder joint are replaced with artificial prostheses.

Your recovery is affected by the type of shoulder replacement surgery you need. Consult with Dr. Pearson about which procedure could do the most to improve your function and eliminate shoulder pain. You may need:

Your surgery takes about two hours, which you spend asleep under anesthesia. When you wake up, it’s time to start your recovery journey.

Early recovery from shoulder surgery

You might think that recovering from surgery mostly involves lying around and resting. While you do need to rest and support your post-op shoulder, it’s also important to get up out of bed and start moving around as early as possible. You’re even encouraged to move while you’re still hospitalized.

As you start your recovery, expert physical therapy advice helps you understand the ways you should and shouldn’t move your healing shoulder. It’s important for you to perform all physical therapy exercises as instructed in order to heal properly.

Pain management needs are most intense in the first days after your surgery. As you’re leaving the hospital, you receive pain management support, as well as occupational therapy support to help you with any assistive devices you’ll use during recovery.

After 48 hours, you can take a shower. In the first week, keep the dressing in place, but check your incision daily, as well. Your dressing is removed at your first follow-up appointment post-surgery.

Completing your shoulder surgery recovery

In the first 2-4 weeks post-surgery, you need to avoid lifting anything with much weight at all. And, you won’t be able to lift heavy objects for at least two months after your procedure. If your work doesn’t involve heavy lifting, it’s typically possible to return after two months’ leave of absence.

As you continue with physical therapy exercises, and listen to your body, you can slowly resume arm movement and activity. For the first six weeks, don’t put your arm in an extreme position, and take your time on returning to heavy activity and contact sports.

Talk to Dr. Pearson about what you can expect in terms of your timeline for returning to driving. It’s important not to drive before you’re sure it’s safe for you to do so.

The length of your recovery period depends on the nature of your surgery. It can take six months to a year to completely heal from total shoulder replacement surgery.

When your recovery is complete, your healed shoulder functions fully, and is free from chronic pain. Recovery takes time, but can absolutely be worth it. To learn more about what to expect during and after shoulder surgery, get in touch with Dr. Pearson and the team at Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana today.


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