Returning to Sports After Your Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

One of the first questions you might ask after arthroscopic shoulder surgery is, “How soon can I return to my usual activities?” This is especially common in athletes. If you’re looking forward to returning to the game, it’s important to understand the many factors that come into play during your recovery.

Brian Mehling, MD, and Pavel Yufit, MD, are dedicated to ensuring that you experience a full recovery following arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Their ultimate goal is to get you back to playing just as well, if not better, than before you were injured.

Your initial recovery

During your initial recovery following arthroscopic shoulder surgery, you’ll feel tired and need to rest your shoulder until you can start physical therapy. Your rehabilitation can typically start within two weeks of your procedure.

Depending on your overall health, Dr. Mehling and Dr. Yufit may recommend therapy for six months or longer, based on the progress you’re making during your rehabilitation. Throughout your rehab, you can gradually return to other activities, like light-duty work.

Continued rehab

With a successful rehab, you can expect to start low-impact exercises within three months of surgery, such as running and weight-training. During this time, you may also start training in your particular sport.

Training should be light, and you will need time to strengthen the muscles supporting your shoulder to see an improvement in your game. While you can start training within three months, understand that it can take 12 months or more to reach your usual level of play.

Boosting your recovery efforts

Before Dr. Yufit and Dr. Mehling approve your return to the game, they closely monitor your shoulder recovery and your progress in rehab. To boost your results and perhaps raise your game even higher, there are some things you can do for yourself, such as:

Call a time-out when you’re tired

Rest is a big factor in your recovery. When you’re low on energy, take the time you need to relax. A consistent sleep schedule also helps to restore your energy and improve the speed of healing in your shoulder.

Sleep comfortably

Rather than put excess pressure on your shoulder during a night’s sleep, consider using a recliner chair and several pillows to prop up your arm and shoulder.

Stay active

While you may not yet be ready for the football field, you should stay as active as possible, taking daily walks and keeping your blood circulating. By enhancing blood flow to the shoulder area, you can heal faster and more efficiently.

Eat a healthy diet

Just because you need to take some time off to recover doesn’t mean you can forget about healthy eating habits. Stick to a nutritious diet and avoid the temptations of junk food. Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.

Follow your doctors’ orders

One of the biggest keys to a successful recovery from arthroscopic surgery is following all of the instructions Dr. Mehling and Dr. Yufit provide. Driving too soon or not getting sufficient rest can harm your shoulder and slow the time it takes for you to fully recover.

Your doctors will also be able to tell you the optimum time to return to your chosen sport, focusing on your safety, recovery, and overall health.

If you’re dealing with a shoulder injury and need help, schedule a consultation to discuss your options for arthroscopic surgery today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online now.

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