rehab after shoulder replacement

NICE Recommend Rehab Same Day as Shoulder Replacement Surgery

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that provides guidance, advice and information services for health professionals, has issued new advice for patients undergoing a hip, knee or shoulder replacement. After undergoing surgery, patients should now attend rehab on the same day. This should be provided by an occupational therapist or physiotherapist.

Here, we’ll look at why the new guidance has been supplied and what shoulder replacement surgery involves.

Why is same day rehab recommended?

The new guidelines have been introduced after NICE consulted with the Association of Trauma and Orthopaedic Chartered Physiotherapists (ATOCP). It is known that early rehab can lead to much better outcomes for patients who have undergone joint replacement surgery.

Shoulder replacement surgery can result in a long and painful recovery. So, if patients can minimise the pain and discomfort through same day rehab, it’s a welcome change to the guidelines.

The only potential issue that could cause debate amongst the sector, is that in the small print, initial intervention could be carried out by any member of a therapy team provided they are qualified. Many experts claim the initial rehab should only be carried out by a physiotherapist or occupational therapist.

What does it involve?

The new guidelines mean that patients who undergo shoulder replacement surgery should receive the following rehabilitation therapy:

  • Advice on how to manage daily activities
  • Home exercise programme
  • Ambulation

The guidelines have been designed to be vague enough for clinicians to use their own expertise to decide upon appropriate care for each patient.

Understanding shoulder replacement surgery

Shoulder replacement surgery is carried out to treat a damaged or worn away shoulder joint. This typically occurs due to injury or shoulder arthritis. Either part, or all of the joint will be replaced using artificial parts.

There are different types of shoulder replacement surgery you can undergo. These include reverse, total and partial shoulder replacement. The reverse shoulder replacement tends to be the most common technique used. The standard total shoulder replacement remains the most common. This includes a metal ball being attached to the shoulder blade where the socket was. Then, a new socket is attached to the top of the arm, where the ball was. It basically switches the ball and socket around.

A total shoulder replacement surgery is also common. This technique replaces the ball and socket, but it keeps them in the same position. A partial replacement focuses on just replacing the ball of the shoulder.

Each surgery is designed to help patients improve shoulder motion and eliminate pain. The primary aim is to alleviate pain and hopefully also gain more function and movement The artificial parts used are typically made from metal, plastic, or a mixture of both materials.

Most patients who undergo shoulder replacement surgery are aged 70 or over. Most replacement joints will last at least 10 years before another procedure is required. There is a 10% failure rate at 7 years

The new guidelines issued by NICE ensure patients have the best chance of recovery. Being able to improve results by offering early rehab is going to prove welcome news to both patients and shoulder specialists.

If you think you might need a shoulder replacement, book a consultation with the London Shoulder Specialists today. The earlier treatment is sought, the better the outcome will be.