What to Expect from Physical Therapy after shoulder surgery

After undergoing shoulder surgery, physical therapy is often recommended to help rebuild strength and flexibility. The type of physical therapy prescribed depends on the specific injury that was treated with the surgery. No matter what kind of shoulder surgery you had, it is important to understand the recovery process and what kind of physical therapy you may need.

The primary goal of post-surgical physical therapy is to restore range of motion and strength in your shoulder joint. Depending on the type of shoulder surgery you underwent, a physical therapist will be able to determine which exercises are best for helping you reach your recovery goals. Some common types of shoulder surgeries are rotator cuff repair, labral tear repair, dislocations, and joint replacement. Each type requires different treatment plans and rehabilitation strategies.

For example, after rotator cuff repair or labral tear repair, you will likely have a period of rest followed by light stretching exercises and strengthening exercises such as arm circles and bands. Your therapist may also use manual therapy techniques such as passive range of motion exercises (PROM) or active range of motion exercises (AROM). As your healing progresses, more challenging strengthening exercises may be added such as weighted presses or pulley systems.

If you had a dislocation or joint replacement, your rehabilitation plan will include more aggressive stretching techniques such as PNF stretching or myofascial release techniques to help improve mobility around the joint capsule while avoiding re-injury. Strengthening activities can also be incorporated into your rehabilitation program as tolerated by increasing resistance with weights or bands progressively over time. Additionally, neuromuscular re-education activities can help improve coordination and balance while decreasing pain levels during functional tasks like reaching overhead or behind your back.

Physical therapy following shoulder surgery is an important part of the recovery process. It helps restore range of motion, strength and coordination in order to return patients to their prior level of function safely and effectively. A qualified physical therapist can evaluate your individual needs and create a personalized treatment plan tailored for successful recovery from whatever type of shoulder surgery you have undergone. With proper guidance from an experienced professional therapist, recovering from shoulder surgery does not have to be a daunting task!

Call POSMC today!

If you are experiencing shoulder pain in the Dallas, TX area call POSMC today!

To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!

Dr. Randal L. Troop

Shoulder, Knee and Sports Medicine
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Dr. Michael S. Howard

Shoulder, Elbow and Upper extremity
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Dr. John E. McGarry

General Orthopedics, Shoulder, Knee and Sports Medicine
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Dr. Earl R. Lund

Shoulder, Elbow, Hand and Wrist
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