A total shoulder replacement surgery is a complex operation that replaces the damaged shoulder joint with an artificial one. It is generally advised for people with severe shoulder pain, arthritis, or limited mobility that does not respond well to non-invasive treatments. While the procedure itself can offer relief from pain and restore movement, it requires careful post-operative care, rehabilitation, and lifestyle changes to ensure optimal recovery and long-term success. In this blog post, we will provide you with some important things to consider after a total shoulder replacement surgery to help you make a faster and safer recovery.
A vital part of the post-operative care is the physical therapy program that the surgeon or physiotherapist prescribes. The rehabilitation program usually includes stretching, strengthening, and mobility exercises that aim to restore the shoulder's function, flexibility, and strength. It is crucial to follow the program as instructed, attend all the scheduled appointments, and communicate any pain, discomfort, or concerns to your therapist. They will monitor your progress, adjust the program accordingly, and guide you through the gradual process of recovery.
Pain and swelling are common after the surgery, and it is essential to manage them effectively with prescribed pain medications, ice packs, and elevation of the arm. It is crucial to follow the prescribed pain medication regime and never exceed the recommended dosages. Patients should avoid using NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen as they can interfere with clotting and may increase the risk of bleeding. The physiotherapist may recommend gentle massage or manual therapy to help reduce swelling and improve blood flow.
After a total shoulder replacement surgery, patients usually need to avoid certain activities or movements that could put undue stress on the new joint. These activities may include lifting heavy objects, reaching overhead, or participating in contact sports. Patients are advised to use assistive devices like slings, braces, or crutches to support the arm and shoulder muscles until the surgeon or physiotherapist approves the resumption of normal activities.
Proper care of the incision site can help prevent infections and promote healing. Patients should keep the incision area clean and dry, avoid soaking it in water, and change bandages regularly as directed by the surgeon. They should also avoid scratching or picking at the incision site, use antibiotic creams as prescribed, and report any signs of redness, swelling, drainage, or fever to the surgeon immediately.
Finally, patients may need to adjust to some lifestyle changes after a total shoulder replacement surgery. They may need to modify their sleeping positions, use special pillows or cushions to support the arm and shoulder, and avoid wearing tight clothing or bras that can rub against the incision site. Patients may also need to make changes to their work environment, such as modifying their chair height or computer screen position, to avoid straining the shoulder.
A total shoulder replacement surgery is a significant event in anyone's life, and it requires careful attention and dedication from both patients and medical professionals to ensure optimal outcomes. By following the rehabilitation program, managing pain and swelling, avoiding activities that strain the shoulder, taking care of the incision site, and adapting to lifestyle changes, patients can make a faster and safer recovery and return to their normal daily activities with improved shoulder function, mobility, and quality of life. At B Physical Therapy in Winter Springs, FL, our experienced and compassionate physiotherapists are dedicated to helping you achieve your optimal recovery after a total shoulder replacement surgery. If you're looking for Physiotherapy in Winter Springs, FL, contact us today to schedule an appointment and start your journey towards a pain-free and active life.