How to Prepare for Shoulder Surgery: Tips and Recommendations

Knowing shoulder surgery recovery tips can help alleviate any concerns or anxiety surrounding shoulder surgery, and many surgeons provide information to help navigate recovery. While your surgeon may give direction on surgery preparation, it’s still important to take steps to make recovery more comfortable and encourage healing.

Read below and discover how to prepare for shoulder surgery and make the days ahead easier.

Common Types of Shoulder Surgery

The shoulder is primarily made up of a ball and socket joint which permits overhead motion, but when the joint is overused or damaged injuries can develop suddenly or over time. Sometimes the extent of the damage requires surgical intervention and depending on the injury, one of these procedures may be recommended:

  • Rotator cuff surgery
  • Shoulder arthroscopy
  • Torn labrum surgery
  • Shoulder arthritis treatment
  • Shoulder fracture repair

No matter the type of surgical treatment needed, it’s important to discuss medications with your surgeon and inform them of any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications as well. You’ll also want to discuss blood replacement options at least a month prior if there are any special considerations the surgeon needs to be aware of.

Tips for Preparing for Shoulder Surgery

Preparing for shoulder surgery isn’t strictly discussing with your surgeon factors that can affect the surgery itself, it’s also important to prepare with recovery in mind so the time spent at home is made easier and encourages healing.

Prepare the Home

It wouldn’t be the best idea to run errands while recovering from shoulder surgery. Before the appointed day, it’s important to stock the pantry and fridge with items you’ll need to eat, meals that don’t require a lot of prep or cooking, and to make sure you have basic hygiene items. The less you have to ask someone to run out for you or do it yourself, the more time you can rest and focus on healing. This is also the opportunity to look around the house and look for ways to limit the use of the affected arm and tripping hazards, and make bathroom use and going to bed easier.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Diet, tobacco use, and drinking alcohol all impact your recovery. When getting prepared for shoulder surgery, it’s important to take steps to limit or eliminate poor dietary habits, cigarettes, and alcohol prior to and post-surgery.

Physical Therapy

Whether the surgery is on your dominant or nondominant side, it’s important to schedule time with a physical therapist to help recovery. Physical therapy greatly impacts the return of full range of motion and teaches exercises to rebuild your strength, flexibility, and regular movement; this is especially important if shoulder surgery took place on your dominant side.

Notify Work or School

Notifying work or any obligations you have of your shoulder surgery is vital to proper recovery as you don’t want to be forced to return to usual activities too soon. Depending on the type of shoulder surgery and the requirements of your job, scheduling leave for several weeks and organizing documentation with the surgeon and your doctor is essential.

Clothing for Surgery Recovery

With the shoulder in a sling and not recommended to move or use it, clothing choices become an essential part of a good recovery. You’ll want to have loose-fitting and easy-to-remove or put-on clothing like shirts with snaps, buttons, or zippers over pullovers. Elastic-waisted pants, slip-on shoes, and clothing that don’t require too much movement or risk moving the affected shoulder.

Prepare Right

Recovering at home from shoulder surgery requires preparation and a plan prior to the day of, it’s essential to take steps that ensure correct healing and avoid actions that could re-injure your shoulder.

We at Proliance Surgeons Everett Bone & Joint are dedicated to treating shoulder injuries and conditions, ensuring our patients have the knowledge to recover from surgical treatments. By delivering the highest quality of care and expertise, we better the community and keep our neighbors in good health for as long as they can and help them with a shorter recovery time. If you are concerned about recovery from planned shoulder surgery, don’t hesitate to contact us using the button below.


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