Sometimes, the best treatment for chronic joint pain is surgical. If your chronic shoulder pain and joint instability don’t improve with conservative treatment, Dr. Michael L. Blackwell and the experts at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine may recommend shoulder replacement surgery.
Dr. Blackwell provides comprehensive support for patients with shoulder problems from locations in Tomball, Kingwood, and The Woodlands, Texas. Before, during, and after your shoulder replacement surgery, Dr. Blackwell and his team are here to help.
Following are some of the key points Dr. Blackwell wants you to keep in mind about post-shoulder replacement surgery recovery.
Minimally invasive techniques
In your surgical procedure, Dr. Blackwell removes damaged sections of your shoulder and prepares the surfaces of your natural bones to accept your new artificial joint. You may need a partial or total shoulder replacement.
To lessen your post-surgery recovery time, Dr. Blackwell uses minimally invasive surgical techniques like arthroscopy whenever possible. With smaller incisions, your rehabilitation is less intense.
The first few days
Even with minimally invasive approaches, shoulder replacement surgery is still a major operation, and you need to spend a few days in the hospital. Pain medications, delivered orally or by injection, help to manage your post-surgery discomfort.
However, you’re not just going to be lying around for your recovery. Physical therapy and rehabilitation start right away to rebuild your shoulder strength and flexibility.
Ready to head home
A few days after your procedure, you’re ready to finish your recovery at home. You leave the hospital with a sling to support your healing shoulder joint for 2-4 weeks.
Plan on your arm and shoulder having reduced function for about a month of post-surgery recovery time. Most patients can get back to gentle activity within 2-6 weeks. Give it half a year before returning to vigorous shoulder exercise and activity.
While healing from shoulder replacement surgery, don’t lift objects heavier than a pound, and skip actions and activities that involve pushing or pulling motions. If you had your right shoulder replaced, you might need help with driving until the new joint is fully healed.
Sticking with your recovery plan
Keeping up with your physical therapy exercises can make all the difference in your recovery. Dr. Blackwell designs your rehabilitation program for your unique needs, and he can advise you on the best technique for stretches and exercises.
With rest and rehabilitation, your new shoulder starts to work just as well, or better, than your old one. Many modern shoulder joint replacements can last for as long as 15-20 years.
You can learn more about shoulder replacement surgery, including details of your personalized recovery and rehabilitation plan, by contacting the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today. Call now to book, or request your appointment online.