Shoulder injuries are very common and often involve surgical intervention, such as rotator cuff repairs, joint replacement, and labral repairs. Most surgical interventions of the shoulder are designed to repair or replace damaged tissue, including cartilage, muscles, joints, or tendons. Procedures will range from minimally invasive repairs to open surgery. Each procedure has different healing timelines and expected outcomes based on the type of injury and tissue involved.
Once surgical intervention is chosen, your surgeon will go over the procedure, the healing timeline, and what you should expect to feel after surgery. This is also an excellent time to plan for after the surgery, depending on how long you have to stay in the hospital and what restrictions you may have after the procedure. Before surgery, you may also meet with a physical therapist to assess your strength and mobility.
Once the surgery is completed, you will be given specific instructions on wound care and provided with range of motion and lifting restrictions. You will have detailed instructions regarding pain management, wound management, and how the procedure went. Once the initial healing phase is complete, you will follow up with a physical therapist to regain your range of motion and strength. Each timeline will be different based on the procedure you have and the extent of the injury.
A “shoulder separation” is an injury to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. This is often caused by a direct impact or a fall onto the outstretched hand.