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Shoulder Replacement Surgery Recovery Time

30 December 2022

Shoulder Replacement | Dr. Pankaj Bajaj
Shoulder Replacement Surgery Recovery Time

Shoulder Replacement Surgery Recovery Timeline For A Steady And Healthy Recovery

The shoulder muscles are responsible for maintaining any joint's widest range of motion. The shoulder is used frequently throughout the day. You use it to help you get out of bed, to reach to get a glass from a cabinet, or to raise your fork or spoon to your mouth.

However, the shoulder is vulnerable to injury and wear and tear like other joints. This flexibility also makes the shoulder prone to damage and instability due to wear and tear. Shoulder replacement surgery is a viable solution. Total shoulder replacement has many factors that affect the patient’s outcome.

The severity of the problem remains a factor. Each person’s health will also contribute to the outcome. Shoulder replacement surgeons’ experience with a given surgery is essential to consider.

The shoulder has tremendous motion, but that vast motion also allows for lesser stability. In other words, you can move your shoulder to a greater degree, which allows for a greater risk of injury. While mild shoulder injuries such as shoulder dislocation can be treated through non-surgical procedures, you should search online for a shoulder specialist near me for immediate treatment for serious shoulder surgeries.

Lastly, the difficulty of a shoulder joint replacement is also essential to assess, and complex surgeries will be challenging and require expertise. After surgery, you are taken into the recovery room, where you will stay for around two hours. You will be monitored until you wake up from anesthesia and will be taken to your hospital room.

You will be numb from the regional anesthesia on the operated arm, providing good pain relief for the next day. As a side effect of the anesthesia, you will be unable to move the fingers or wrist on the operated arm.

Typically, the stay in the hospital is two to three days, but it varies with each individual and how quickly they progress. You may feel the pain that can be managed with medication that allows you to feel as comfortable as possible. Medication is given either by pump or injection and should be used after surgery as needed to avoid lung congestion.

After surgery, your arm will be in a sling for four to six weeks. The recovery program is divided into 3 phases for a complete and sound recovery. To know more Instant Relief From Shoulder Pain recovery

Shoulder Surgery Recovery Time

Phase 1

It focuses on soft tissue and wound healing; this phase begins on the surgery day and lasts until six weeks after surgery. The incision needs around two weeks to heal. Patients are given specific instructions on caring for their incisions after surgery during the first two weeks.

During phase I of the surgery recovery program, physical therapy within the week of surgery is recommended to help avoid stiffness and ensure safe exercises. The physical therapy program is gentle for many common surgical repairs to protect the repairs done during the shoulder replacement surgery and focuses on passive movements.

Passive movement means that the repair area (such as a shoulder or elbow) is moved by a family member, physical therapist or friend rather than by muscle power. A sling can be used during the first phase to avoid stressing the repairs and protect the surgery site.

Phase 2

The second phase of the rehabilitation program spans from week six after surgery until week 12 after surgery and focuses on regaining an active range of motion. Starting at the six-week mark, the sling can be placed in a closet and stored for a rainy day for minor repairs.

More extensive repairs after the shoulder joint replacement may require wearing the sling until eight weeks after the surgery. During phase II, physical therapy can progress to gentle strengthening and more active movements. Lifting is usually limited during six weeks to no more than five pounds for surgeries such as a rotator cuff repair or a total shoulder replacement.

Phase 3

The third phase allows them to start progressive and gentle resistance training as part of a home exercise program with their physical therapist. Lifting limits are done. However, lifting hefty objects or strenuous movements should be avoided.

An initial return is often started around the 12-week mark after surgery to light sporting activities. However, gym workouts or high-powered driving is reserved until 4 to 5 months after the patient gains more strength and better recovery. All return-to-sports training is done individually based on each patient's sports, goals and performance level.


Follow-ups are necessary to ensure a healthy recovery. Routine follow-up visits will be scheduled with your orthopedic surgeon during the first year at one week, two weeks, six weeks, three months, six months and 12 months after your surgery. You will be asked to return for annual visits after that to assess the function and status of your implant.

Final Thoughts

The majority of shoulder surgeries are successful these days. Various factors play a vital role in the shoulder surgery recovery time, such as age, complications, and the doctor's expertise.

Moreover, platforms like NeemTree Health Care, having doctors with years of clinical excellence, and the use of world-class technology for innovative care in the orthopedics field are your best choice in making shoulder replacement surgeries immensely successful. Their shoulder replacement surgery cost in India is affordable while providing best-in-class treatment to ensure a healthy and steady recovery.

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Dr. Pankaj Bajaj

MBBS, MCh orthopedics , DNB orthopedics , MS orthopedics

Know Your Doctor Extensive experience of more than 25 years in......read more