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Shoulder - After replacement surgery

You have had shoulder replacement surgery to replace the bones of your shoulder joint with artificial parts. The parts include a stem made of metal and a metal ball that fits on the top of the stem. A plastic piece is used as the new surface of the shoulder blade.

Now that you are home you will need to know how to protect your shoulder as it heals.

Self-care

You will need to wear a sling for the first 6 weeks after surgery. You may want to wear the sling for extra support or protection after that. You may also wear a shoulder immobilizer to keep the joint in place.

Rest your shoulder on a rolled up towel or small pillow when lying down. This helps prevent damage to your shoulder from the stretching of the muscles or tendons. You will need to keep doing this for 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery, even when wearing a sling.

Your surgeon or physical therapist may teach you pendulum exercises to do at home for 4 to 6 weeks. To do these exercises:

Your surgeon or physical therapist will also teach you safe ways to move your arm and shoulder:

These exercises and movements may hard but they will get easier over time. It is very important to do these as your surgeon or therapist showed you. Doing these exercises will help your shoulder get better faster. They will help you be more actives after you recover.

Activities and movements you should try to avoid are:

Wear the sling all the time unless your surgeon says you do not have to.

After 4 to 6 weeks, your surgeon or physical therapist will show you other exercises to stretch your shoulder and gain more movement in your joint.

Returning to sports and other activities

Ask your surgeon which sports and other activities are ok for you after you recover.

Always think about how to safely use your shoulder before you move or start an activity. To protect your new shoulder avoid:

You will probably not be able to drive for at least 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. You should not drive when you are taking narcotics. Your surgeon or physical therapist will tell you when driving is ok.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your surgeon or nurse if you have any of the following:

References
  • Throckmorton TW. Shoulder and elbow arthroplasty. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds.Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 12.
  • http://hendrick-medical.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=117&isArticleLink=false&pid=60&gid=000176 accessed on 02.06.2015 at 10.15 am.

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Jane and I wanted to thank you so much for the care you and your colleagues took of Jane whist in Mauritius. Everything went well and Prakash did a great job of getting us to your clinic and back over the 6 dialysis days. We had a wonderful holiday and our children and grandchildren plus the other family all enjoyed it enormously. Best wishes to you all

Andrew and Jane Stewart
17.04.2017