Therapy after a shoulder replacement surgery can be intimidating, but rest assured that the physical therapists at Specialized Physical Therapy make it their goal to create a relaxed and effective experience for you to get back to your life.
Common symptoms leading to a shoulder replacement surgery include shoulder pain, stiffness, clicking or feeling of grinding in the joint when moving, loss of mobility and strength, which typically is due to severe arthritis or degenerative joint disease. After a shoulder replacement surgery, you may also experience pain, stiffness, possible bruising and swelling. If you notice excessive swelling, redness, or warmth, contact your MD immediately.
The most common cause for a shoulder replacement surgery is osteoarthritis. The shoulder joint is referred to as a “ball and socket joint.” The surgery involves replacing the humeral head (ball of the joint) with a metal ball and the glenoid (socket of the joint) with a plastic surface.
Your physical therapist will first take a history of your symptoms, including questions to understand your pain pattern, history of symptoms, how your symptoms affect your function throughout the day, and your goals. Next, your therapist will perform a thorough examination of your shoulder mobility, strength, muscle flexibility, scar healing and skin integrity. Performing a comprehensive evaluation will help the therapist to understand the cause of the symptoms and how to treat it.
Treatment and Exercises
After careful examination, your physical therapist will create a personalized program to create a program aimed to reach your goals after your shoulder replacement surgery. The program will involve manual therapy and exercises to safely improve the flexibility and mobility of your shoulder, improve strength of the surrounding muscles, reduce pain, and teach you ways to manage the symptoms so you can get back to doing what you love.