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.
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.
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
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.
Total knee, hip, and shoulder replacement surgery, as well as other surgical and non-surgical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis of the joints.