Minimum Recovery for Shoulder Surgery

Minimum Recovery after having Shoulder Surgery:

Shoulder surgery is done to get relief from conditions like arthritis, shoulder impingement syndrome, and rotator cuff tear. Surgery is not done blindly to everybody suffering from one or more of the above problems. Instead, patients who are likely to benefit and who fulfill the criteria to undergo surgery are carefully selected to provide adequate relief from pain and disability.

Moreover, safety concerns in the form of co-existing diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, previous heart attacks, disorders in blood clotting, thyroid, kidney and liver problems, age and anesthetic risk are all taken in to account before embarking upon surgery even in people who need it.

Although surgery is destined to provide relief per se, on most occasions, the clinical improvement can be witnessed and is optimal only when certain restrictions and exercise regiments are properly followed postoperatively as advised by the operating surgeon or physiotherapist.

I have outlined 7 awesome tips in my book "Exercise Your Shoulder Pain-Free" which in my opinion, are worth the price of the book alone.

  • The first tip: immediately following surgery is that you should be taking painkillers and anti-inflammatories. You may even be placed on “patient controlled analgesia” whereby the patient can adjust the pain medication level to suit his or her needs. Most patients think that using less medication for pain relief is bravery and gives faster recovery, which is wrong. Without hesitation, patients should use them at levels that provide them complete pain relief. It is a proven fact that a painless postoperative period paves way for rapid clinical improvement after surgery.
  • After discharge from the hospital, it is important to keep your shoulder mobile, rather than in a sling. Use a sling simply when you go out into crowded places, such as the local shopping centre where there is a chance that people could bash into you.
  • Many patients find themselves unable to sleep in a comfortable painless position following surgery for some days. You may, if you wish, sleep in a reclining chair facing up and resting your arm and hand on a pillow kept on your side under the elbow. Or sleep on the side of your good shoulder, or on your back.
  • Some patients start using their arm excessively and inappropriately, leading to recurrence of the injury or limited clinical improvement following surgery.
  • Follow an exercise rehabilitation programme.
  • Buy my book and read the section: "Exercise Your Shoulder After Surgery".
    • All patients are supposed to know the following:

      1) How to take care of their dressing
      2) How long they need to keep their arm in a sling
      3) How to take their medication
      4) What are the limited activities permitted following surgery
      5) When to go for check-ups and reviews
      6) What are the warning signals for getting immediate medical attention following surgery
      7) How to take care of the surgical incision
      8) Whom to contact in the event of an emergency

    There are many very useful tips about the minimum recovery for shoulder surgery which I have not included in this article. But you will find them in my book.