Undergoing shoulder surgery is an effective way to treat numerous shoulder issues. However, it’s important to understand what to expect in terms of recovery.
If you want to experience the best results, it’s crucial to follow the surgeon’s aftercare advice. If you’re not sure what to expect from shoulder surgery recovery, below you’ll discover everything you need to know.
Shoulder surgery recovery: immediately after
After undergoing shoulder surgery, you will typically stay in hospital for 3 hours or so. This is for monitoring purposes, ensuring you are OK to go home. Once you have fully regained consciousness, your surgeon will provide you with aftercare advice.
This will usually include advice on how to manage pain, take care of your wound and control any inflammation which may present. It’s really important that you follow this aftercare advice if you want to experience the best results and limit complications.
Shoulder surgery recovery: keeping the shoulder supported
Many patients may need to keep their shoulder immobilised for a set period of time. This means you will be given a sling to wear. You may be advised to wear it for 1 –2 days or up to 6 weeks depending upon the extent of the surgery carried out.
During this time, you’ll want to wear comfortable clothing and don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help with daily tasks.
Shoulder surgery recovery: managing pain and discomfort
One of the main side effects of shoulder surgery is pain and discomfort. It’s common to feel some level of pain after surgery, but this can usually be managed with pain relief medication. Your surgeon may prescribe medication for you to keep the pain at bay. They will also advise you on the different pain-relieving methods you can use, such as an ice pack.
Shoulder surgery recovery: issues with sleep
You may experience some issues with sleep for a few weeks after the surgery. You won’t be able to sleep on the shoulder that was operated on. This may mean that you need to sleep differently to usual. The pain can also make it harder to sleep, though pain medication will help.
Shoulder surgery recovery: rehabilitation
Your rehabilitation period will differ depending upon the type of surgery you had. However, it will include some level of physiotherapy. You will also start to introduce daily tasks back into your life, gradually building up the strength in the shoulder.
You may need to have time off work, depending upon the type of job you carry out and the nature of the surgery. If you work in a more physically demanding job role, you may need to take a little longer to recover before going back.
If you participate in contact sports, you unfortunately may be advised to delay your return to play for four to six months, depending on your individual circumstances. This can be difficult for athletes, but it is crucial for the healing process.
The above is a brief guideline on what to expect from shoulder surgery. Your London Shoulder Specialist consultant will be able to give you the best idea of what to expect based upon the actual surgery you have having. Call 0203 195 2442 to arrange your consultation.