Shoulder replacement surgery replaces the worn parts of your shoulder joint. When you leave the hospital, your arm will be in a sling. It will be helpful if there is someone to help you at home for the next few weeks or until you have more energy and can move around better.
You will go home with a bandage and stitches or staples. You can remove the bandage when your doctor tells you to. If the stitches are not the type that dissolve, your doctor will remove them in 10 to 14 days. You may still have some mild pain, and the area may be swollen for several months after surgery. Your doctor will give you medicine for the pain.
You will continue the rehabilitation program (rehab) you started in the hospital. The better you do with your rehab exercises, the sooner you will get your strength and movement back. Depending on your job, you may be able to return to work as early as 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, as long as you avoid certain arm movements, such as lifting.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kenneth J. Koval, MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
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