What to expect after shoulder surgery is dependent on your procedure. Let our professionals at Pearl Recovery Retreat & Wellness help.
There are several different kinds of shoulder surgery, ranging from the minimally invasive to the very complex, so recovery from shoulder surgery is more than just one thing. But there is one thing that is for sure: your shoulder is an essential part of your body that you would typically use daily and recovering from any type of shoulder surgery is going to be a process that you should take seriously. Take a look at some of the things you should know about the aftermath of shoulder surgery so that you can have the best recovery available to you. Here is what to expect after shoulder surgery.
Stocking Up for Your Shoulder Surgery
Planning for what to expect after shoulder surgery begins before the day of your surgery. You know that you’ll be having it. You know that you won’t be moving around generally for some time following your surgery, so you want to be ready ahead of time for the challenges you’ll face in the immediate aftermath of the procedure.
Some of the things that will help include a detachable shower head, which will help you clean yourself while keeping your incision dry, and a shower chair to wash while in a seated position. Your pain medications may make you dizzy or tired, and even the surgery itself may take energy out of you for a while. This puts you at risk of falling, especially in a slippery shower, so a shower chair will help you stay safer.
Speaking of showering, you should also have liquid soap in a pump container, as this will be easier to handle with one arm, and a stockpile of waterproof bandages or tape and plastic bags to cover the wound to keep it from getting wet.
You may want to meal prep ahead of time or invest in some easy-to-heat or grab-and-go foods so that you don’t have to put your shoulder through all the work involved in preparing food when you’re feeling tired and sore.
And, while it’s not an item that you can pick up at a grocery or medical supply store if you live alone or with people who will be busy with school or work every day, you should also enlist some help. You shouldn’t expect to do everything for yourself following a serious surgery. Friends, family, or even hired help can take some of the pressure off by being present to help with household duties, personal care, and errands. And even if you don’t need any of that, they can still provide support and confirm that you’re not in more pain than you should be and you’re not having a bad reaction to your medication.
What About Pain?
Unsurprisingly, pain is a big concern in what to expect after shoulder surgery. You’re almost certainly going to experience some, but there are pain relief options available to you.
Your doctor may prescribe prescription opioids. If they do, it’s because they believe that you’re going to need them. It’s important to discuss any previous reactions or problems with these or similar drugs with your doctor so that together you can come up with a pain management plan that works and is safe for you. You should plan on only staying on this medication to help you over the worst of the post-surgical pain.
Your doctor may also recommend a topical anesthetic (a substance applied directly to the sore area to numb it) and over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen. Another standard recommendation following shoulder surgery is ice compression, where you use a cold pack applied to the area to ease pain, and eventually, therapy with hot packs.
Perhaps surprisingly, some of the best pain management tactics that you experience will be things you learn in physical therapy. It’s true! Physical therapy helps relieve pain and is an effective way to get your range of motion and mobility back in the area affected by the surgery.
Of course, to reap the benefits of physical therapy, you have to consistently follow your physical therapist’s program. That means showing up when you have scheduled therapy, doing the exercises that your therapist suggests that you do at home, and communicating with your physical therapists about the challenges and efficacies of your program. Physical therapy is a joint venture, and your therapist needs your feedback to know what you’re struggling with, what hurts, what comes easily, and so on. This will help them determine what you need to do next.
The amount of time you’ll remain in the hospital post-surgery varies depending on the surgery, but as long as you’re infection-free and recover well, you probably won’t stay long. Some people choose to go home to recover, but some can’t or prefer not to.
A recovery center is a real option for you. At a minimum, you’ll have medical personnel handy to check your incisions, monitor your vitals, and ensure that you’re healing as your doctor wants.
But when you choose an option like Pearl Recovery Retreat, you get much more than the bare minimum. You get a luxury experience. Why go home when you can recover with all of the medical oversight you need and deserve, plus the amenities you would find in an excellent hotel? Think imported linens, beautiful views, and ambient lighting, in addition to healing-centered extras like recovery smoothies and hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
Mindset has more to do with recovery than you might realize. For example, even if you have what you need and you’re doing everything right, feeling pressured, overwhelmed, depressed, or isolated at home could affect your recovery. At Pearl Recovery Retreat, the attention paid to not just your surgical site but also to your comfort and happiness might help relieve or prevent those feelings. Not to mention that you’ll be overseen and attended by competent medical staff while necessary, which can minimize the possibility of routine medical setbacks like infection, broken stitches, or any reinjury.
What To Expect After Shoulder Surgery: Final Thoughts
To find out more about Pearl Recovery Retreat and how they can work with your doctor to help ensure that you have the surgical recovery you need and deserve, contact them to book your stay.