Monday, March 21, 2011

How to Successfully Recover from Rotator Cuff Surgery

By Tom Nicholson

There are two important parts to any rotator cuff surgery recovery. You need science, art, the medical professionals involved will provide the science, and you provide the art. Your physical therapist and surgeon have the science in their fingertips while you must have the art of knowing your body. There is of course also a support aspect to the entire process and that is the support of family or friends who will help you during recovery. It will take everyone working as a team to speed you to a healthy recovery.

Immediately After Surgery

Depending on the type of surgery performed, you may or may not be required to stay in the hospital after the operation. For example, if you had arthroscopic surgery, you can return home within the day. If you had open surgery, then you have to stay for 1-2 days in the hospital.

No matter which surgery you have you will be required to wear a protective sling. You will have a much faster rotator cuff surgery recovery time, as this will keep your arm and shoulder immobile and relaxed. This does not mean you should never move it however; you will have passive exercises to do guided by your physical therapist immediately after getting out of the hospital. These exercises keep the muscle from becoming atrophied or scarred.

Exercises during Recovery Period

There are four distinct phases of recovery, passive motion, active motion, strengthening and full activity. During each of these recovery phases, you will have specific exercises to do. Your physical therapist will provide you with the details for each area of recovery and the proper exercises you must do, they will generally fall into one of three categories, beginning, advanced and strengthening.

First, beginning exercises can be done with and without the help of your physical therapist. You can alternate between forward elevation of the arm, external rotation, and elbow flexion and extension and grip exercises, to name a few. Ask your physical therapist whether you are allowed to perform these exercises in the passive and active ways. This is an important step since exposing your shoulder muscles to stress before these are ready can adversely affect your rotator cuff surgery recovery.

Within about 6-8 weeks of your surgery, you should begin advanced exercises. Your physical therapist will expect you to allow your shoulder to do its full range of motion through exercise. These exercises will be performed around 10-15 times per day. Advanced exercises such as cross body adduction and internal rotation will be outlined by your physical therapist.

The last exercise phase is the strengthening exercises. Muscles become weakened after the surgery and long recovery period. In a short amount of time, however you can be back to your normal routine even playing sports.

During the strength training phase you will be required to life weights however you should remember not to stress the should muscles. In fact, your physical therapist should plan out a personal training program that includes internal and external rotations in addition to pressing exercises.

At any phase of exercise, you should consult with your doctor if any of the following occurs, redness, oozing fluid, fever, unaccustomed warmth or pain. Any of these can be a sign that your rotator cuff surgery recovery is not moving along as quickly as it should.

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1 comment:

Imran said...

Surgery is generally only considered for a tear that does not respond to non surgical treatment. There is no evidence that suggests better results are obtained in early versus delayed repairs. Hospital for Rotator cuff surgery in Thailand