What to Expect after Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

January 29, 2020 | By: Raleigh Orthopaedic Team

Shoulder replacement was first performed in the 1950s, and 53,000 total shoulder replacements are performed in the United States each year. If you have difficulty dressing, daily hygiene routines, carrying groceries, and sleeping due to shoulder arthritis, you should consider shoulder replacement. Most patients with shoulder arthritis try medications, physical therapy, and injections prior to surgery. If those don’t provide pain relief, joint replacement is the best option.

The typical recovery from a shoulder replacement allows the return to physical activities such as golf and tennis in four to six months following surgery. However, this recovery period is very important.

The Recovery Period

The use of a sling is necessary for approximately four weeks, to protect the soft-tissue attachments (rotator cuff) and joint while the shoulder heals. Physical therapy is important, as it initially protects the joint from excessive trauma, while also working to strengthen the muscles that are necessary to make the shoulder replacement perform as close to a normal shoulder as possible.

Post-operative compliance with instructions and appropriate physical therapy are equally as important as having a skilled surgeon perform your surgery, and nearly guarantees a successful outcome. The Raleigh Orthopaedic shoulder replacement surgeons collectively perform nearly 150 shoulder replacements annually. Whether your shoulder replacement is performed at UNC REX Hospital or Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center, our operating rooms are specifically designed for joint replacement and the staff are selected and trained specifically for joint replacement. A dedicated joint replacement therapy team will also work to help you get back to a pain-free life as quickly as possible.

Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us at (919) 781-5600 to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopaedic specialists. For your convenience, orthopaedic shoulder conditions and treatment are offered at five of our clinic locations:

If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our Raleigh Orthopaedic Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.