Approximately 53,000 people undergo shoulder replacement surgery annually, and if you’re scheduled for this procedure, it’s perfectly normal to wonder about what your recovery will entail. How much pain will you face? How limited will your mobility be? How long will it take before you’re “back to normal?” These are just a few questions you might be thinking about.

Fortunately, if Dr. Struan Coleman is performing your shoulder replacement surgery, you’re in the best hands possible. His years of experience and familiarity with the procedure, as well as his desire to educate and calm you, mean that entrusting your care to him means that you’re superbly clinically supervised and treated compassionately before, during, and after the surgery.

Why your shoulder joint is so important

Since your shoulder is a workhorse joint of the body and is pivotal to mobility, long-term limitations mean that you can’t do lots of things, from yoga stretches and lifting grocery bags to throwing a ball or pulling a book down from a high shelf.

The ball-and-socket shoulder joint consists of your upper arm bone, the humerus, whose rounded end fits into your shoulder blade, or the scapula, and when it sustains a certain amount of damage, your quality of life is profoundly affected.

If Dr. Coleman recommends shoulder surgery for you, it’s probably because you’ve damaged your shoulder due to trauma from playing sports or an accident, like if you tear your rotator cuff during a fall, wear-and-tear from years of repetitive motion, or a degenerative condition like osteoarthritis.

What does shoulder replacement involve?

Dr. Coleman performs shoulder replacement surgery when your scapula and humerus are degenerated such that your mobility is likely to be permanently and severely impaired. He replaces them with synthetic parts, typically of plastic and metal, and in doing so, restores your mobility and eliminates your pain.

That said, this is not a minor surgery because of the shoulder’s anatomical complexity, so your recovery process is particularly key to long-term health and mobility.

What does healthy recovery from shoulder replacement surgery look like?

After Dr. Struan performs your shoulder replacement surgery, you can expect to:

  • Keep your shoulder immobilized for a period
  • Complete a course of physical therapy customized to your body and needs
  • Use cold compresses and safe pain relief medication that Dr. Struan prescribes to relieve swelling and pain, respectively
  • Abide by strict movement limitations

During the initial period when your arm isn’t meant to move, pivotal healing takes place, setting a new foundation for your shoulder joint. As you continue to heal and start physical therapy, that work increases your strength and flexibility.

Even though physical therapy is an important part of recovery, it’s critical that you don’t overdo it by performing tasks and activities using your shoulder prematurely, which could set you back. You shouldn’t pick up anything the least bit heavy or even drive for at least a month, for example.

Recovery done right

When you’ve recovered sufficiently, you notice that your movement is restored and you can do all those things you loved to do, from taking a swim to stirring a pot of soup, and being pain-free may feel foreign, but so welcome.

Thanks to Dr. Coleman’s expertise and history with treating the shoulders of weekend warriors and pro athletes alike, he’s gained unique knowledge of the workings of the shoulder and how to perform shoulder replacement surgery in the most skilled, efficient way possible.

Call one of our New York offices or our Philadelphia office to set up a consultation with Dr. Coleman and see if shoulder surgery could be the answer to your pain, or reach out to us through our website.

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