According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, about 53,000 people in the U.S. have shoulder replacement surgery every year, and hundreds of thousands more have less-invasive shoulder arthroscopy. Either way, after the surgery, there are important steps to be taken to ensure that you fully recover.
Let’s discuss the different kinds of shoulder surgery, what you should expect after your shoulder surgery, and where you can go in Carmel and greater Indianapolis to see a highly experienced shoulder surgeon.
What Is Shoulder Surgery?
Shoulder surgery is performed to repair severe injuries to the shoulder joint – usually due to:
- Advanced arthritis
- A torn rotator cuff
- Frozen shoulder
- A dislocated shoulder
- Shoulder fracture
There are two main types of shoulder surgeries: open surgery and arthroscopic surgery.
In traditional open shoulder surgery, the surgeon makes an incision to expose the tissue or bone that is damaged. The doctor can then surgically repair it by reattaching tendons and ligaments, suturing tears in muscles, or even replacing the diseased bone with prosthetic materials in a shoulder replacement surgery. Because the surgeon must make significant cuts into the skin and muscles of the unaffected area in open surgery, the recovery time can be many months.
Arthroscopic surgery is a newer method of surgery in which very small incisions are made. Asmallviewing instrument is inserted into one incision, and the surgeon can insert a repair tool and perform the surgery (with the help of the viewing instrument) through the other incision.
This type of surgery is considered “minimally invasive,” because only two or three small incisions need to be made. Because of this, arthroscopic surgeries also have a shorter recovery time and a lower risk of infection as compared to open surgeries.
What Happens After a Shoulder Operation?
Most arthroscopic shoulder surgeries are performed in outpatient surgery centers, so you can have someone drive you home the same day of your surgery. Open shoulder surgeries are a more intense procedure, so you may have to stay in the hospital for two or more nights to be observed while you initially recover.
In the first few weeks after shoulder surgery, your doctor will prescribe lots of rest and minimal movement of your shoulder. They will likely give you a sling so that your shoulder rests while you go about your day.
Also after having shoulder surgery, you will begin physical therapy. This is very important because the physical therapist will help you start to move your shoulder again while it is still healing. This can be daunting, but it is important to make a full recovery.
In the first few weeks of physical therapy, your therapist will help you restore your range of motion by leading you through stretching exercises. Once you have a normal range of motion, they will show you strengthening exercises to restore the strength/muscle mass you may have lost during the resting process.
In the months following shoulder surgery, you will likely keep doing the physical therapy exercises at home to maintain strength and flexibility in your shoulder. Most people recover from extensive shoulder surgery within 4-6 months, and recovery is even quicker after arthroscopic surgery.
Shoulder Surgeon in Carmel and Greater Indianapolis
If you have recently had shoulder surgery or are anticipating having it done, talk to the experts at Total Shoulder in Carmel. Dr. Stephen Jacobsen is a board-certified orthopedic shoulder surgeon and has been performing surgeries for over a decade.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, call us today at (317) 705-4392 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to getting you back to your life, free from shoulder pain once and for all!