Alfred M. Faulkner, DO, PC: Board Certified Surgeon

20 years of providing orthopedic care for people of all ages

Orthopedic Care in Dearborn and Jackson, MI

Shoulder Replacement Surgery: What to Expect During Recovery

One of the main concerns that patients have about shoulder replacement surgery is what to expect during recovery. If you are undergoing shoulder replacement surgery, your surgeon will discuss the surgery process with you as well as what to expect during recovery.

Immediately After Surgery

Immediately after surgery you will be groggy from the anesthesia and your arm will be in a sling. You will have dressings over the surgical site that you will need to keep clean and dry. You may not be allowed to shower for the first few days.

Your main focus after surgery will be pain management and rest. Pain after shoulder replacement surgery is natural. Your doctor will provide you with pain medication to help with short-term pain relief. You will also need to regularly ice your shoulder throughout the first few days.

Prepare for limited arm function for the first month after surgery. You will also need to arrange for help with transportation because you will not be able to drive for up to six weeks following surgery.

The First Few Weeks

During the first few weeks following surgery, your shoulder will be healing and your arm will remain in a sling. It may be difficult to sleep, and you will need help with simple household tasks such as getting dressed and showering. You should refrain from any activities that involve reaching, lifting, pushing or pulling.

You will also have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to see how your shoulder is healing and answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

Your surgeon will also provide you with gentle exercises that you can perform at home. It is important that you follow all of their instructions and avoid rushing back to activity. Depending on how you are healing, you may also be able to begin passive physical therapy.

Four to Six Weeks Post-Surgery

You will begin active physical therapy to build your strength and increase mobility. You may also have to do exercises at home.

During this time, you will start to regain independence. You may no longer need assistance around the house, and you may be able to drive.

You may have additional follow-up appointments to check your progress. Your surgeon will advise you as to whether you still need to wear the sling.

It is normal to have some pain or discomfort during this time.

Three Months Post-Surgery

You should have minimal pain and find that you are returning to normal activities. While your range of motion is improving, you will still need to avoid extreme arm motions.

Six Months to One Year Post-Surgery

Depending on your recovery efforts, your strength and mobility should be at their pre-surgery levels. You should be able to return to all of your regular activities.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Faulkner in Dearborn or Jackson

Dr. Alfred Faulkner is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who is knowledgeable about shoulder replacement surgery and the recovery process. Schedule a consultation at our Dearborn or Jackson offices today.