The vast majority of our patients are back to their normal activities in six to nine months. While some patients recover faster, it can take up to one year for some patients to fully return to normal activities.
For the first 12 weeks of recovery, the goal is to regain some of your range of motion in the shoulder. Strengthening the shoulder does not typically start until 12 weeks after surgery.
For our active patients, you may begin an exercise program as soon as your wounds are healed (generally two weeks after surgery). During the first two to nine weeks postop, a stationary bike, walking, CORE strengthening and lower body strengthening are acceptable. After the nine-week mark, you may start jogging if cleared by your surgeon. No upper body strengthening will begin until your doctor and physical therapist approve it.
If you are an athlete who is returning to sport after shoulder surgery, here are important considerations:
Stay involved with your team. You can still be learning, observing or encouraging teammates on the sideline even though you are injured. Helping track team stats and/or documenting the practice plans can help you achieve mental engagement with the team.
Walking, stationary cycling (recombinant bicycle), lower extremity strengthening and rehab exercises are all options to discuss with your physical therapist or athletic trainer. Be certain that you are protected from any plays, passes or equipment that could cause injury to your shoulder. If your shoulder begins to bother you at any time, stop activity and apply ice.
Every athlete recovers at a different pace. You might feel fit and ready to return, but you should verify the plan with your physician, physical therapist and/or athletic trainer. Be sure to keep your coach involved in the rehabilitation process as well.