How long it takes to recover from shoulder surgery depends on various factors. You are most likely to return to your usual activities within a few days.
The first step to recovery after shoulder surgery is to manage the postoperative pain. Your arm will be immobilized in a sling for at least six weeks after the surgery. However, after a few weeks, you will be able to resume your normal operations. You can drive, walk, and cook but using one arm.
To strengthen the part of your shoulder that is operated on and regain motion, you will work closely with a physical therapist to help you recover. Note that how long it takes to recover after a rotator cuff surgery varies from case to case.
It can take up to 4-6 months to recover fully after surgery. If you want to return to heavy lifting with both arms, you may have to wait longer than six months. Before you embark on heavy lifting, you should talk to your physical therapist and doctor about it. This way, you can avoid putting much strain on your shoulder and going back to the injury.
How to manage your postoperative pain
- Place some ice on your shoulder to alleviate pain and control swelling
- Your doctor will prescribe some pain killer drugs you can take to control the pain
- Get enough sleep after the surgery if you want to recover fast
How to prevent re-occurrence of rotator cuff injury
Once you are healed, you would like to put the injury and surgery out of mind and continue your everyday life. While it is fine getting back to your daily life, you also want to ensure you don’t encounter another rotator cuff injury. Therefore, you should take necessary precautions so that you prevent re-injury of the rotator cuff.
Here is what you should do to prevent rotator cuff injury from happening again:
- Exercise regularly – If you want to keep your shoulder strong, you should continue doing all the exercises your physical therapist was taking you through as you heal. You should also go back to other types of exercises you were used to doing before the injury. You keep your body healthy and prevent any future injuries on the shoulder by engaging in a regular workout.
- Avoid heavy lifting – if you must lift something heavy, you should consider asking for help. Ensure your doctor or physical therapist has cleared you to do the heavy lifting when working out or doing any duties. If you are lifting a heavy load, you want to do it in a way that keeps your body safe. Stop whatever you are doing if your body is getting tender or feels sour.
How long it takes you to recover after any surgery depends on the type of surgery you undergo. Your doctor will always advise on what you can do to recover fast and resume your normal life. You should follow your physical therapist’s advice if you want to recover fast.