Shoulder Replacement surgery means replacing the damaged areas of the shoulder with artificial parts. This procedure can help in relieving pain and in improving shoulder mobility.
Shoulder replacement surgery is a major operation and hence the patient may experience pain during the recovery process. Oral medications and injections are given to the patient to help in reducing pain post surgery.
The rehabilitation starts right after the surgery so that the patient can recover early. According to the patient’s condition, the doctor may use a sling on the patient’s arm before being sent to their house for a complete recovery. For around a month post surgery, the arm will have less mobility. Avoid lifting heavy objects and also pushing and pulling something heavy.
The patient will have to rely on the sling worn on the arms for support for around 6-7 weeks. Pain medications will be prescribed by the doctor. Make sure the patient takes medicine on time to get pain relief.
What to Expect at Home
Use a small pillow to rest your shoulder. This can prevent shoulder damage and relaxes the shoulder muscles and tendons. This can be followed for 6-8 weeks post surgery, during the recovery process. For around 4-6 weeks, the patient should do certain exercises such as:
- Slowly swinging your arms in circles
- Lift or move your shoulder with support or help from anyone
To begin with, these exercises may seem to be difficult as pain may make your movements stiff. But as you keep doing such exercises, it would be easier for you to recover.
Returning to sports and other activities
Check with your doctor and identify the sports you can freely take part in before you go ahead with any sports or activities, all by yourself. Also check with your doctor on when you can start driving your car and return back to day-to-day activities. To protect your shoulder, keep in mind not to engage in the following activities.
- Activities which require more movement or strain to the shoulder like weight lifting
- Jamming activities like hammering
- Impact sports such as football or boxing
- Any activities which may require quick movements or twisting
Activities and movements which should be Avoided
Using or stretching your shoulder a lot
- Lifting heavy objects
- Supporting your entire body weight with your hand or shoulder
- Making sudden Jerking movements
When to call your doctor
Call you doctor immediately if you find any unusual symptoms such as
- Swelling in the arm
- When pain medications aren’t helpful
- Bleeding which doesn’t stop
- Redness, pain or swelling
- Yellowish discharge from the wound
- Chest pain
Shoulder Replacement Surgery is considered as one of the safest and most effective options to help people with shoulder pain and mobility related issues, lead better and happy lives. Hence, find out if you need a shoulder replacement or not, if the shoulder pain bothers you.