Post operative Physiotherapy following Shoulder replacement

Post operative Physiotherapy following Shoulder replacement

You shoulder joint is a ball and socket type of joint where you have the head of your arm bone humerus sits in a socket called glenoid fossa which is a part of shoulder blade. The stability of your shoulder joint is provided by the rotator cuff muscles and ligaments surrounding the joint. Total shoulder replacement replaces the ball and socket with an artificial joint /prosthesis. Your Surgeon will select the prosthesis depending on the quality and quantity of bone and the strength of the muscles around the joint. Post operative physiotherapy plays an important role in the recovery process after the surgery.

Why the shoulder needs replacement?

The most common condition is severe osteo arthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis which limits you function activity due to severe pain. Replacement is also done after an accident or trauma where there is severe damage to the head of the humerus or deep layers of the rotator cuff muscles are damaged. The operation replaces the damaged joint surfaces.

Your Physiotherapist at the hospital will discuss with you the movement restrictions. You will be given information and practice session on the positioning and the exercises which will help you to move your shoulder on the first day of surgery. You will be wearing a sling and need to avoid weight bearing through your operated arm for minimum of 6 weeks or as advised by your surgeon. It is important to follow your surgeon’s and Physiotherapist’s instructions through out your rehabilitation process to avoid complications and to progress the strength and mobility in your arm.

Consult your Physiotherapist at out patient clinic with the discharge report from your surgeon if there are any specific instructions. You will have an assessment session to establish your goals and to plan your Physiotherapy treatment based on the post operative protocols. The rehabilitation period can be from 16 to 18 weeks, but can vary depending on the type of surgery and the previous level of function.