Shoulder Replacement Chicago, Beverly, Bridgeport, Glenview, Lincoln Park, Northwest Side Chicago, IL

Shoulder Replacement

Finding Relief After Total Shoulder Replacement

Total shoulder replacement (medically referred to as total shoulder arthroplasty, or TSA) is a surgical procedure that is done to replace part or all of the shoulder joint. It is a common procedure that many people undergo, especially those suffering from arthritic pain in the shoulder joint. In fact, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, approximately 53,000 Americans undergo total shoulder replacement each year. If you have recently had a total shoulder replacement procedure, or you have one planned in the near future, contact Sports and Ortho Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine today to find out more about how we can help you achieve relief and recovery.

How do I know if I need total shoulder replacement surgery?

Your primary physician will let you know if total shoulder replacement is necessary, based on the nature of your specific condition. This procedure is typically only done when other medical interventions have failed to provide sufficient relief. During the procedure, your surgeon will remove affected bone from the shoulder joint and replace it with artificial parts.

Before undergoing total shoulder replacement, it is important to make sure that you have tried more conservative measures for treatment, including physical therapy. When other treatments do not work, surgical correction may become necessary. The most common conditions resulting in the need for total shoulder replacement include:

  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Rotator cuff disease.
  • Osteonecrosis.
  • Severe fracture.

How will physical therapy help my recovery?

In order to ensure the best results following your procedure, it would be in your best interest to partake in both pre-surgical physical therapy treatments and post-surgical physical therapy treatments.

The better your physical condition is before undergoing your procedure, the easier your recovery will be. When you participate in physical therapy treatments before surgery, your physical therapist will guide you through strengthening exercises to improve your shoulder and upper-back movement. This will help in keeping your shoulder function as strong as possible before your surgery, and it will make both the procedure and the recovery period much smoother.

It is no secret that physical therapy treatments will be needed after your surgery, as well. While pre-surgical treatments will undoubtedly help in making the process easier, you will still be in need of some guidance as you recover. You will be provided with information on any precautions you should take as your shoulder heals, such as wearing a sling or brace, or limiting certain activities. You will likely be in the hospital for a few days after your surgery, and will likely have to wear a sling for the next 2-6 weeks as your shoulder heals.

It is important not to try and move your shoulder on your own, until your physical therapist says you are ready. Rehabilitation treatments will begin a day or two after your procedure, most likely while you are still in the hospital. Treatments will begin by helping you through simple tasks, such as brushing your teeth, getting dressed, getting in and out of bed, and safely removing/putting on your sling. You will also be taught helpful tips to reduce pain and swelling on your own, such as how to properly elevate your arm or where to apply ice packs.

Once you are discharged, it is crucial to keep up with your physical therapy treatments. They will become more intensive until the function in your shoulder is fully regained. You will be guided through a series of exercises, all aimed at relieving pain, promoting healing, achieving function, and preventing any further damage from occurring. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Strengthening exercises.
  • Range-of-motion exercises.
  • Functional training.
  • Job/sport-specific training.

What’s next?

If you have recently received total shoulder replacement correction, or you are in need of it in the future, contact Sports and Ortho Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine today. We will set up a treatment plan for you to ensure that your recovery is as quick, easy, and pain-free as possible. One of our highly-trained physical therapists will work closely with you and your primary physician every step of the way, in order to make sure that you are getting the best treatment possible for your specific needs. Don’t suffer through a lengthy recovery period – contact Sports & Ortho Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine today at Chicago, Beverly, Bridgeport, Glenview, Lincoln Park, Northwest Side Chicago, IL centers for relief!