Returning to Exercise after a Total Shoulder Replacement

One of the biggest reasons that people have a shoulder replacement is to get back to exercise and activities they enjoy. Golf, tennis, hunting, and swimming are just a few of the examples that people have a high chance of being able to do after they are recovered. Return to these activities is predicated on a quality surgery and commitment to rehab. We used a rehab protocols specific to each person that are designed to maximize your long-term outcome.The typical timeline for returning to exercise after shoulder replacement is as follows:0-4 weeks: Hand, elbow, and wrist motion are allowed. No shoulder movement. The shoulder should be in the sling while moving around or sleeping, but can be removed while sitting on the couch or for showering. During this time, aerobic exercise can be obtained with walking or using a stationary bike or treadmill.4-8 weeks: Shoulder range of motion exercises. Motion starts with passive exercises (via a pulley or assistance of a therapist) and progressed to active motion. Running can be resumed at this time.8-12 weeks: Shoulder strengthening exercises are started. This helps strengthen rotator cuff and scapula muscles.3 months: Strengthening is progressed to sport-specific or specific activity goals. At this point it is ok to return to light weights in the gym. It is also the point to begin light sport-related activities (e.g. putting for golf, swimming with limited overhead strokes).4 months: Most activities are permitted with the exception of activities that require rapid accelaration of the arm (throwing or a full golf swing).6 months: Full activities are allowed.Dr. Patrick Denard has been voted one of the top 20 Shoulder Surgeons in North America and is the most widely published shoulder specialist in Oregon. Dr. Denard is committed to providing the highest level of Orthopedic care to his patients. Dr. Denard has advanced arthroscopy training and is able to perform the vast majority of shoulder procedures in a minimally invasive fashion, including all types of rotator cuff repairs and instability repair. These techniques allow him to repair tears that some consider “irreparable.” Providing every patient with advanced medicine and compassionate care each and every time.

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