The Ultimate Guide To Shoulder Surgery Recovery

Shoulder Surgery

More than any other joint in your body, your shoulder rotates across a wider range of motion. And if that is in chronic pain, going about your daily activities would be a tedious task. Your doctor may suggest replacement surgery if it’s giving you so much pain that you can’t reach into a cupboard, can’t get enough rest, or exhibit other major symptoms. With the right treatment and surgery, your mobility may improve, and your discomfort may be reduced.

Your surgery procedure will be arranged in advance, barring an emergency. So, you will have enough time to get ready and make plans for any particular assistance you might need after being released from the hospital. However, just like every other surgery, the recovery time for a shoulder surgery also varies. It can take anywhere between 4-12 weeks for you to recover after undergoing shoulder surgery. You can expedite the process by taking the appropriate and necessary measures to ensure smoother recovery. Here are some useful shoulder surgery recovery tips that will serve as the ultimate guide to your healing.

Things you’ll need to do after your shoulder surgery

  • Use pillows
    You can either buy one or two pillows or find some extra ones around your home. Relaxing on your recliner or resting in bed with your wounded arm propped up with a cushion might give you some relief.
  • Take medications
    Taking the prescribed medication will definitely speed up your recovery process. Also, ensure that you do not miss your doses and adhere to the regular time. Before you take any new painkillers or over-the-counter medicines, do consult your doctor.
  • Eat fresh food
    Having freshly cooked food is the best remedy to aid the healing process. Try to incorporate only freshly made and healthy food at home as much as possible. But if at all you cannot manage to get fresh food always, stocking up on frozen foods that are easy to heat up also proves handy.
  • Stock up on toiletries
    Stock up on the items and brands you know you’ll need. This way, you’ll have sufficient toiletries on hand and don’t need to make last-minute runs to the store.
  • Use a shower chair
    Through the use of a shower chair, which enables you to sit and rest while taking a shower, you can help lower your risk of falling. After surgery and the use of painkillers, these chairs come in handy. They are also perfect for those who have other ailments that could make it difficult for them to stand up straight, such as a brain injury that could induce dizziness.
  • Get easy-to-wear clothes
    If you have clothes that button or zip rather than those that pull over your head, getting dressed will be simpler. Keep these garments close at hand in your closet before the operation. Additionally, because lacing your footwear with one hand is difficult, think about purchasing a pair of shoes with slip-on or Velcro straps.
  • Consume high-fibre foods
    Following surgery, constipation is common and can be expected. Buy some high-fibre items to help you get rid of this uneasy sensation. Here are a few fibrous foods:
    • Black beans oats
    • Prunes
    • Apples, pears, and skin-on baked potatoes
    • Broccoli

How to sleep properly after a shoulder surgery
The healing process following surgery depends on good sleep. Many patients who have just undergone shoulder surgery struggle to feel comfortable at night, which makes it difficult for them to fall asleep.

These tips will help you sleep well after shoulder surgery-

  • Sleep while inclining- Avoid sleeping on your back flat. It is preferable to sleep on an elevation for 4-6 weeks following surgery. A recliner might be the most comfortable choice for the initial week or two.
  • Put your sling on- Wearing your sling all day not only offers protection but also aids in maintaining the correct position of your arm. The same holds true at night. For the first week, using your sling at night can keep your shoulder in the right position while you sleep and guard against movement.
  • Employ a pillow prop– Put a little pillow between your torso and the shoulder that is healing. The additional help will keep your shoulder’s blood vessels open. Due to the fact that our blood contains oxygen, blood flow is crucial for healing. Collagen grows more quickly when oxygen is present, and it also fights infection.
  • Fix your medicine timing- Schedule your medication time such that you take your painkillers around 30 minutes before going to bed. When you are prepared to sleep, this will help to ensure that you are pain-free. Additionally, by taking your prescription immediately before bed, you’ll have plenty of time to sleep before you need to wake up again to take it.
  • Use Ice Compressions at night- You will fall asleep more quickly if you apply ice to your shoulder before going to bed since it will assist in calming the nerves and lessen inflammation. To prevent frostbite or irritation, keep a towel or soft cloth between your skin and the ice.

Helpful exercises after a shoulder surgery
Some extremely helpful exercises that will help your shoulder recover quickly are-

  • Assisted Shoulder Elevation
  • Internal rotation
  • External rotation
  • Arm lifts
  • Reaching exercises

The procedures of arthroscopy, arthroplasty, and rotator cuff repair are frequently used in shoulder surgeries. Numerous shoulder injuries and ailments can be treated with these operations. Getting expert treatment and surgery at the best hospital in India, Sancheti Hospital, Pune, will ensure you get the right treatment from expert doctors and surgeons.

You may be able to continue an active, regular life after shoulder surgery if it improves your health or lessens your discomfort. For instance, shoulder surgery may be able to reduce your pain and provide your shoulder with some strength and an adequate range of motion. Surgery on your shoulder won’t stop potential shoulder injury.


  • How long does it take to recover from shoulder surgery?
    Your recovery period after shoulder surgery will depend on the type of surgery or injury on your shoulder. Regular shoulder surgery may take anywhere between 4-12 weeks. Some cases might take even more time if the injury and surgery were complicated.
  • How painful is shoulder surgery recovery?
    Undergoing shoulder surgery is no easy feat. But with the right postoperative care, you can ease your recovery process. After a shoulder arthroscopy, you will notice pain and swelling in your shoulder for at least the initial few weeks. Ensure that you rest the shoulder well to help the healing.
  • Is shoulder surgery major surgery?
    Just like any other surgery, shoulder surgery also brings along with it a few complications and questions. While it is not a major surgery as a whole, one does need to take good care and precautions to ease the process right from the treatment plan to recovery.
  • What is the fastest way to recover from shoulder surgery?
    The fastest way to recover from shoulder surgery would be to take excellent postoperative care. Keep your shoulder immobilized for a good amount, so it gets time to heal. But you also need to ensure that you are getting the right exercises, preferably with the help of a physiotherapist. Follow the tips in this guide, and your recovery process will speed up.
  • What percentage of shoulder surgeries are successful?
    Since shoulder surgeries don’t have major complications, the success rates for such are quite high, depending on the type of procedure followed. Sancheti Hospital, Pune, has an excellent success rate in the shoulder and other joint surgeries. With an expert panel of doctors and surgeons with years of experience, the hospital has witnessed a commendable result in surgery success over the years.

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