They say hindsight is 20-20, and it’s easy to look back on situations and reassess how you would have handled them knowing what you know now. That’s oftentimes true for patients who have undergone shoulder surgery. They are typically highly satisfied with their surgery, but at the same time, they’d probably change a few things if they could go back in time now that they’ve gone through the process.
In an effort to make your shoulder surgery as successful as possible even if it is your first time having surgery, we put together a short blog on some of the things former patients wish they would have known or done earlier in the process. In today’s blog, we take a look at five things patients wish they would have known before their shoulder surgery operation.
What I Wish I Knew Before Shoulder Surgery
If you lean on this information, we’re confident that there will be fewer things you’ll look back on and wish you would have done differently before your shoulder operation.
- Prehab – The stronger you are prior to your procedure, the stronger you’ll come out of surgery, so it’s best to jump into some prehabilitation exercises. Nobody ever regrets doing prehab physical therapy, but many people say they wish they would have taken advantage of it once their procedure has been completed. Give yourself the best chance at a stronger recovery by doing prehab exercises.
- There Will Be Pain – Although the operation itself will not be painful, the recovery process will be uncomfortable and at times painful. This isn’t meant to scare you, but some people simply come in with mismatched expectations for post-op pain. Many patients will have some pain medications to help with discomfort, but these aren’t meant to be a long-term solution. Know that there will be some discomfort, and that’s completely normal. We’ll be more than happy to help you get to a place where pain is minimal or non-existent, but that won’t be right after your operation.
- Surgery Is Only A Portion Of Your Recovery – While the surgery gets the most focus, the operation alone isn’t what’s going to drive your functional improvement. You need to put in the work during rehabilitation and physical therapy, otherwise your recovery will be limited. You get out what you put in when it comes to your recovery, so come in with a positive mindset and a willingness to put in the work on your end.
- Plan Ahead As Best You Can – You may need help cooking and cleaning at home or rides around town, so start planning for these things in advance. You can also help make things easier on yourself by cleaning your house, doing the laundry and preparing some healthy and easy to reheat meals in the days before your surgery. Make your home a place that is easy to come home to after surgery, and talk to friends and family members about lending a hand in the first few days and weeks after the operation.
- Shop Around For A Shoulder Specialist – Don’t just settle for whatever clinic your primary care provider refers you to if you need shoulder surgery. Research specialists in your area, take consultations with different providers and really see who seems like the best fit for your situation. You’ll want to have full faith in the provider performing your procedure, and you can find that by doing some research and moving forward with a surgeon you feel like you can trust. Don’t learn about red flags after the fact because you didn’t do a little research beforehand.
If you can do these five things, we’re confident that you’ll have fewer things you’d wish you could change if you could go back in time and do your shoulder surgery all over again. To trust your procedure to a shoulder specialist who will ensure you get the care you deserve, reach out to Dr. Holloway and his team today.