When will I be able to start using my shoulder ?
A careful, well-planned rehabilitation program is critical to the success of a shoulder replacement. You usually start gentle physical therapy soon after the operation. Your surgeon or physical therapist will provide you with a home exercise program to strengthen your shoulder and improve flexibility.
When you leave the hospital, your arm will be in a sling. You will need the sling to support and protect your shoulder for the first 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.
Most patients are able to perform simple activities such as eating, dressing and grooming within 2 weeks after surgery. Some pain with activity and at night is common for several weeks after surgery.
Driving a car is not allowed for 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.
When will I be able to take a shower ?
Avoid soaking the wound in water until it has thoroughly sealed and dried. You may continue to bandage the wound to prevent irritation from clothing.
You will be able to take a shower after removal of the staples/sutures which may be around 2 weeks from date of surgery.
What restrictions do I have to follow after surgery ?
- Don't use the arm to push yourself up in bed or from a chair because this requires forceful contraction of muscles.
- Don't overdo the exercise program. If your shoulder pain was severe before the surgery, the experience of pain-free motion may lull you into thinking that you can do more than what is prescribed. Early overuse of the shoulder may result in severe limitations in motion.
- Don't lift anything heavier than a glass of water for the first 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.
- Don't participate in contact sports or any repetitive heavy lifting after your shoulder replacement.
- Do avoid placing your arm in any extreme position, such as straight out to the side or behind your body for the first 6 weeks after surgery.