What type of Therapy is needed after Shoulder Surgery?

What type of Therapy is needed after Shoulder Surgery?
After you’ve undergone shoulder surgery, the first thing you’ll need to do is wear a sling. You’ll need to avoid any overhead motions using the arm in question until the doctor says you’re allowed to do them. This should last for about 2-4 weeks on average. Your rehab therapy will start within the first week, and it can start as soon as within the first 24 hours.

In the first week, you’ll be doing simple exercises to reduce pain and allow passive external rotation up to an angle of 30 degrees. This will include flexing and extending your elbow and strengthening your wrist and forearm. You may also need to do some cervical stretches, scapular squeezes and lower trap squeezes. In addition, you’ll need to come out of the sling to perform 10-15 elbow bends to reduce any possible swelling.

As you enter week two, your exercises will start to include isometric exercises. The goal here will be to start active range of motion exercises. You’ll also start strength training exercises with a theraband. This phase will last until week four.

By week four, you should be out of your sling and ready for slightly more strenuous exercises. You’ll be starting weight bearing exercises as well as continuing with your theraband. At the fifth or sixth week, your shoulder will have healed to the point of full use without the risk of serious injury. By now, your strength training will include the use of more traditional elastic bands. You may also start throwing a ball against the wall to improve your rotator cuff.

By week eight, your doctor will put you on a therapy program that’s specifically designed to meet your needs. This is especially true if you want to return to certain types of sports. By week 12, you can also start lifting outside of therapy, but this will be limited to light objects at first. This will last until you reach the fourth month after your surgery. At that point, most patients will be considered fully recovered and can do things such as push-ups.

You should keep in mind that the key to recovery is patience. If you try to do too much too quickly, then you’ll end up back where you started. You should also do the home therapy that your doctor recommends. This will consist of simple things like crumpling up a newspaper in your hand or some simple flexing of your shoulder.

Plano Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Spine Center is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. Our practice is led by a group of 11 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. With locations in Plano and Frisco, the physicians at Plano Orthopedic have been recognized as the Best Doctors in Dallas and Collin County D Magazine. They have also been honored as Super Doctors in Texas Monthly, including several who are Texas Hall of Fame SuperDoctors by their peers since 2003.  Contact us today!

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