How Long Is Physical Therapy After Shoulder Replacement?

Charlotte Miller

After undergoing shoulder replacement surgery, there are several things that one has to consider in order to regain normalcy. One of the most critical aspects of recovery after shoulder replacement surgery is physical therapy. 

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in ensuring that the patient regains full movement and strength in their shoulder. 

In this article, we will guide you on how long the physical therapy sessions typically last for someone who has undergone shoulder replacement surgery.

Understanding Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing the ball of the upper arm bone (humerus) and the socket (glenoid) located in the shoulder blade with artificial components made from metal or plastic. 

The surgery can either be partial or total, depending on the severity of damage to the shoulder joint. After surgery, patients may experience pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion caused by inflammation in the incision area.

Importance of Physical Therapy

During physical therapy in Aurora, patients work on various exercises designed to help restore the normal range of motion and strength in their shoulders. 

Physical therapy also helps improve posture, reduce pain in surrounding tissues, and improve your overall quality of life. Also, it helps reduce swelling around the surgical site and prevents blood clots.

Early Stage Rehabilitation

At early stages, rehabilitation usually starts immediately after your surgery alongside the rehab specialist that trains you on some safe exercises to facilitate joint movement. 

Early rehabilitation is intended to target basic motions of flexion, abduction, and extension without stressing a lot of pressure to allow healing properly. 

The main goal in physical therapy at this stage is generally decreasing swelling and alleviating any pain because the wound is still healing.

Intermediate Stage Rehabilitation

This stage may well expand depending upon your adjustment response as a patient, but it must be commenced only following full clearance from your surgeon before starting. 

At this point, enough time would have lapsed for uncomplicated wound recovery where most patients experience decreased discomfort requiring less medication consumption over extended hours categorized under moderate pain management. 

Exercise at this level is focused more on regaining strength and stability in the shoulder joint and building endurance, usually in roughly 4-8 weeks, respectively.

For more information, you can contact professionals at Physical Therapy Advantage in Aurora.

Advanced Stage Rehabilitation

During the advanced stage of rehabilitation, which usually occurs between weeks 8-12 after surgery, physical shoulder therapy Aurora focuses on improving the balance and stability of the shoulder area. 

Imbalances in muscle groups that may have developed during early sessions are addressed, and the range of motion is increased through targeted weight exercises for the rotator cuff muscles to improve shoulder joint stability. 

Patients should begin to feel more comfortable and confident in using their shoulders and able to perform daily activities with minimal discomfort by this stage.

Factors Affecting the Duration of Physical Therapy

The duration of physical therapy after shoulder replacement surgery can vary from person to person and is dependent on various factors. 

The success of recovery depends on adherence to the physical therapy program as well as the patient’s overall health and mobility prior to surgery. Some of the factors that affect the duration of physical therapy include:

  • The severity of shoulder damage before surgery
  • The patient’s age and overall health condition
  • The type of surgery performed (partial or total)
  • The patient’s adherence to the physical therapy program
  • Complications or setbacks during the recovery

Adhering to the Physical Therapy Program

The success of your recovery largely depends on your commitment and dedication to your physical therapy program. It is important to attend all scheduled therapy sessions and follow through with any assigned exercises at home. 

Your therapist will monitor your progress and adjust the intensity and frequency of exercises based on how you respond.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Physical therapy after shoulder replacement surgery may present some form of challenges that may affect patients’ ability to recover on time; such challenges may include:

  • Pain: it’s normal for patients to experience some pain or discomfort while performing certain exercises or movements during therapy sessions; however, if the pain persists beyond 24 hours from treatment, you might want to consult with your doctor.
  • Fatigue: Therapy can give most patients a feeling of tiredness due to low endurance levels, but it gradually will improve over time.
  • Emotional Turmoil: Patients could become demotivated due to difficulty bearing weight or not gaining progress in expected timeframes but stay positive by taking one step at a time through your sessions.

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Physical therapy is a crucial part of recovery after shoulder replacement surgery, helping regain strength, mobility, and function of the shoulder. 

The duration of physical therapy sessions varies depending on the severity of the damage, the type of surgery performed, and individual factors like age and overall health. 

However, patients who adhere to their physical therapy program and work closely with their therapist tend to experience a faster and smoother recovery process. 

With patience, consistency, and dedication toward physical therapy, patients can experience improved functional mobility and quality of life after shoulder replacement surgery.

For more information on shoulder replacement recovery, you should contact one of our physical therapists at Physical Therapy Advantage in Aurora.