General Statements Regarding Shoulder Surgery

 It is important to understand that during arthroscopic shoulder surgery and/or open shoulder surgery, the shoulder joint is cut into, penetrated, and violated. This causes the tiny nerves around the joint to be stretched and sometimes cut. These are the nerves that make muscles work, or give you feeling of stretch, temperature, vibration, pain, and/or light touch. These are also the nerves that maintain your posture and allow you to know where your joint is in the world. Immediately after surgery, the nerves around the joint are stretched, disrupted and shocked.

 Therefore, it takes a period of time for the shoulder to recover and the nerves of the shoulder to recover to a normally functioning state. During this time, the shoulder may not move in a normal fashion. One aspect of this book is to help the shoulder recover from surgery by helping it become retrained, so it can move in all different directions (planes) again. If this is achieved and motion returns, then strength can return as well. With good strength and motion, the activities of daily living, sports, and work can be carried out to an acceptable level.

 The website is laid out in a stepwise progression to allow the operated shoulder to recover as a supplement to physical therapy. It by no means replaces physical therapy or the work of a physical therapist.

 Pain comes in different flavors/colors and is perceived by people in different ways. Some people have stronger and higher pain tolerance, while others have a lower threshold of perceiving pain. At times, the pain is good, as it tells the body to stop doing something. Other times, the pain is bad because it prevents the body from doing something with the shoulder.

 As long as you (the reader) are continuing to see your doctor postoperatively and the doctor feels that everything is progressing as far as healing goes, then, for the purpose of my approach, the pain of regaining motion, strength and function in the postoperative shoulder will be considered normal and common.

Home exercises can begin about 2 weeks after shoulder surgery by first warming up the shoulder. This will allow the soft tissues to become more pliable and flexible. After exercises, the shoulder should cool down with ice to help control some of the inflammation that can occur after stretching tight tissues and/or mobilizing retained fluid.