Recovery of Total Shoulder Replacement
A hospital stay of 1 to 2 days may be necessary after the surgery. Before leaving the hospital, a physiotherapist will train you on how to handle your shoulder and arm. To prevent your shoulder from injurious movements, you will use a sling on your arm. The duration you will use the sling depends on your recovery speed. While some people use the sling for two weeks, others take up to 6 weeks. You may also be advised to take painkillers to relieve any pain. If you experience abnormal shoulder pain that fails to go away, this may be a sign of injury or relapse and you will need to contact your doctor.
During the first few weeks, therapy focuses on maintaining the normal motion range and preventing tendon stress. Your therapist will teach you specific shoulder exercises to perform at home. You will need to strictly follow the instructions to avoid a possible injury. Light activities such as walking are highly recommended soon after the procedure. Once you cease using the sling, you may use your arm for lighter activities, including holding a book, newspaper, and coffee cup.
After six to twelve weeks, your therapist will recommend exercises to restore strength to your arm. Exercises such as pulling, lifting, and pushing heavy objects may be necessary for strength. Typically, it takes 4 to 6 months to resume your normal activities following total shoulder replacement.