Post Shoulder Replacement Surgery

At Home

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 two to four weeks after surgery.  The success of your surgery also will depend on how well you follow your orthopedic surgeon's instructions at home during the first few weeks after surgery.

Wound Care
You will have stitches or staples running along your wound or a suture beneath your skin along your wound. The stitches or staples will be removed several weeks after surgery. A suture beneath your skin will not require removal. Avoid soaking the wound in water until the wound has thoroughly sealed and dried. The wound may be bandaged to prevent irritation from clothing.

Diet
Some loss of appetite is common up to several weeks after surgery. A balanced diet, often with an iron supplement, is important to promote proper tissue healing and restore muscle strength.

Activity
Exercise is a critical component of home care, particularly during the first few weeks after surgery, and your active participation will affect the long-term results. You should be able to perform simple activities such as eating, dressing and grooming within two weeks following surgery. Driving is not allowed for two to four weeks after surgery.  Some pain with activity and at night is common for several weeks after surgery.

Your activity program should strictly adhere to these guidelines: 

  • Follow the program of home exercises prescribed for you.  You may need to do the exercises two to three times a day for a month or more. A physical therapist can help you at home or in a therapy center the first few weeks after surgery
  • Avoid placing your arm in any extreme position, such as straight out to the side or behind your body, for the first six weeks after surgery.
  • Avoid use of your arm to push yourself up in bed, or up from a chair.
  • Avoid lifting anything heavier than a glass of water for the first two to four weeks after surgery.

Joint Replacement to Restore Motion and Renew Vitality

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