The most important decision you need to make for a successful shoulder replacement is choosing the right surgeon. You’ll want a surgeon with excellent patient reviews, extensive experience, and the willingness to meet with you and listen to your questions. At ORTHOKnox orthopedic clinics in Knoxville and Athens, TN, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Hovis, has verified patient reviews that you can read here. Dr. David Hovis, along with a sports medicine team including physical therapists, has performed many shoulder replacements and helped with recovery.
After you’ve chosen your orthopedic surgeon, you’ll want to make sure you are as prepared for your shoulder replacement as possible. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips below to ensure you have a successful shoulder replacement!
1. Be ready for surgery
The best preparation you can do for surgery (after choosing your surgeon) is to attend your surgical consultations and checkups. Your doctor will give you the details you need to know before your surgery, what to expect on the day of your shoulder replacement surgery, and a general idea of what recovery will look like for you.
Make sure you ask any questions you may have so you are as relaxed and comfortable as possible before your shoulder replacement! Create a game plan including where to park, who is driving you home, and what to pack.
2. Prepare for recovery
You may want someone to stay at home with you to help you out while you adjust to doing everything one-armed. Practicing daily tasks with only your non-surgery arm ahead of time could help you prepare. Make it easy on yourself by setting things you know you will need in easy to reach places, including clothing that is easy to put on (button-ups, loose-fitting). Also, many patients prefer to sleep elevated on a recliner or couch or by using a pillow wedge. Deciding what will be easiest beforehand will help you get much-needed rest. Using a rolled-up towel or blanket as a prop to support your shoulder is also recommended.
3. Focus on your overall health
You’ll want to be in your best health before surgery. Exercising and reaching weight loss goals will help get you in shape. Controlling diseases such as diabetes and quitting smoking can also improve your health and make recovery easier.
4. Physical Therapy
You will work with a physical therapist after your surgery to strengthen and improve the range of motion in your arm. They will create a rehabilitation program that will allow you to safely move and stretch your shoulder to get rid of any stiffness and discomfort without overdoing it. Bonus: check with your physical therapist about practicing some exercises before your shoulder surgery. This “prehab” will help you prepare for your recovery and ensure a successful shoulder replacement.
Don’t forget to rest and ice or use heat on your shoulder. Give yourself time to heal and cut yourself some slack if you can’t get everything on your to-do list done or are slower than usual at performing daily tasks. You will be back to your former activity level (and pain-free!) sooner if you give your shoulder a chance to adjust.
Do you have questions about your shoulder replacement? Contact Our Shoulder Surgeons in Knoxville and Athens, TN
For questions or for more information about how ORTHOKnox can perform your shoulder replacement, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!