One of the most complex areas of the human skeletal system - and one of the most used - is the shoulder area. Since this jointed system is able to move in so many different directions, this creates a number of opportunities for injury. As all components of the shoulder area work in conjunction with one another, many injuries will require surgery in order to heal properly and maintain the shoulder's full range of functionality.
Following shoulder surgery of any kind, specific instructions will be given by your physician for the recovery and rehabilitation process. It is imperative to follow all steps in order to heal safely and completely, and regain full use of your shoulder, arm, and hand. Here are three of the most common ways doctors recommend for rehabilitation following the surgical repair of the shoulder:
IMMOBILIZE THE SHOULDER/ARM FOR THE SPECIFIED AMOUNT OF TIME
We use our arms almost continuously in one way or another. Complete downtime will get extremely frustrating following surgery as your shoulder heals; however, this is the most essential step in recovery and rehabilitation. This is the first and most important step in the healing process. Your tissue, muscles, sinew, etc, will be healing and regenerating during this time, and any type of undue stress or pressure could easily do an extensive amount of damage, leading to an even longer and more painful recovery period. In some cases further surgery may even be required.
Although immobilization of the shoulder during recovery can be annoying, the alternatives are much less desirable. Make sure to keep your arm in the sling or other device provided precisely as directed following your surgery to avoid further damage or prolonged recovery time.
USE PAIN MEDICATIONS AS DIRECTED AND WITH EXTREME CAUTION
Everyone is aware these days of the dangers associated with the use of opiates, or pain medications. Prolonged use or misuse of these types of medication can lead to dependence and even addiction. Immediately following surgery and for a day or so afterwards, strong pain medication will be necessary. As soon as possible, though, your doctor should begin reducing the amount of narcotic pain medication you are taking and replace it with something less powerful.
Regardless of what medication you are given to help with your post-surgery recovery, following dosage directions is of the utmost importance. If you feel that the medication is ineffective at controlling your pain, do not take it upon yourself to take more than that is prescribed. Contact your doctor and discuss the situation with him if you are experiencing pain; it may be an indication of a problem that needs to be addressed. You could be masking it by taking too much pain medication, and serious health issues may result.
DON'T DISREGARD PHYSICAL THERAPY
You don't want to rush your recovery and rehab time, but you also want to be sure that you begin physical therapy as soon as possible. Your doctor will direct you to the proper type of physical therapy at the correct time, and even though you may not feel ready, your physician knows what's best as will your therapist.
Following surgery on such an active area of the body regaining mobility as soon as safely possible is extremely important. These exercises will begin with light workouts for the fingers, palms, and wrists, and progress to strengthening exercises for the entire hand, arm, and shoulder area, leading up to full use of your appendages after a number of weeks.
Every human body is different, thus, rehabilitation time and methods following shoulder surgery can vary. The steps mentioned herein are some of the most common and most effective. Follow your doctor's instructions to the letter in order to have a successful post-surgery rehab experience