If you had a shoulder replacement you will find it difficult to do many things in the beginning. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help things go much easier for you in the first few weeks. Below are three of these things so you can get started.
Physical therapy is one of the most important parts of shoulder replacement recovery. Your doctor may even start you on physical therapy before you leave the hospital. Without physical therapy, your shoulder will get stiffer and more painful. With physical therapy, the therapist stretches your arm to help you regain range of motion. They will only stretch your arm a little at a time during your visits to allow the muscles to lengthen. As time goes by you will be able to lift your arm without feeling pain. You may not be able to lift your arm all the way up but will get close.
The physical therapist will also have you do exercises at home to help with your shoulder treatment. They may give you bands, which are like large rubber bands, to use during exercise. They will give you hand weights to use to strengthen the muscles in your arm. The doctor may have you see a physical therapist a few times per week for a few weeks. It is important that you continue doing the at-home exercises even after physical therapy is complete.
At Home Tips
You will wear a brace, which is generally a type of sling, for the first few weeks after your surgery. You will not be able to lift your arm up very far until you have gone through physical therapy. Because of this, only wear button-down shirts and loose pants that you do not have to zip or button. This will make things much easier when getting dressed.
When it comes to sleeping, you will not be able to lay on your shoulder, so you may want to consider sleeping in a recliner as you won't be able to roll over. If you want to sleep in your bed, the doctor will tell you to wear your brace during sleep to protect your shoulder. This can get uncomfortable, but you can take a few towels or sheets and fold them into a small stack and place them under your upper arm. This will prevent your arm from moving back during sleep.
Your doctor can give you much more information on how to take care of yourself at home until you get to the point where you can go without your brace.