3 Strategies That Can Help with Your Total Shoulder Replacement Recovery

18 August 2021

Chronic shoulder pain can significantly impact your quality of life. If you’ve been suffering from the effects of you may have been advised that you could be a candidate for total shoulder replacement surgery.

Mr Soon Chua is an elite Melbourne-based shoulder specialist who has helped countless patients escape pain and regain freedom of movement. Alongside training with leading surgeons in the US and the UK, Mr Chua regularly reviews articles for international medical journals on cutting-edge orthopaedic developments. He is also part of the experienced team at Ortho Sport Victoria (OSV).

Mr Chua has seen over and over again that patients who follow their post-operative rehabilitation advice have greater success with long-term recovery. In this article, we outline three critical tips that can assist in getting back in action after total shoulder replacement surgery.


What does total shoulder replacement involve?

Mr Chua will consult with you about the specific conditions of your shoulder joint. If he is confident that all non-surgical options (such as physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication) have been exhausted, he will recommend surgery. A CT scan will be taken of your shoulder. This is utilised to generate a digital 3D model that exactly replicates your shoulder, which will guide Mr Chua as he performs surgery. Modern technology means that total shoulder replacements are completed
with increasing accuracy and stability.

Depending on your specific condition, Mr Chua will replace some or all of your shoulder joints with state-of-the art artificial implants. You’ll likely spend a night or two in hospital to ensure maximum post-operative care. Then you’ll head home and your rehabilitation will begin.


Support and rest

It might seem like an obvious recommendation to support and rest your shoulder after surgery. In order to ensure that you regain the maximum range of motion, giving your body the appropriate time to heal is crucial. Take it easy for a while!

  • When reclining, place a towel or pillow underneath your shoulder
  • Avoid any pressure or weight on the recovering shoulder
  • Support your recovering shoulder with your other hand when shifting locations
  • You will be shown gentle exercises to allow some movement in the early stages

Heat and Cold

Ice in the very early stages after surgery can help to reduce swelling and pain. Once this is past and the wound is healed

Applying gentle warmth can be a simple yet effective remedial technique. A heat-pack applied to the shoulder region can work to reduce pain and facilitate easier movement.

As your recovery progresses and you begin undertaking exercises recommended by your physiotherapist, heating the shoulder can assist in loosening up the area.



As the initial recovery period ends, you will be recommended daily exercises to stretch the shoulder into fit and fighting shape. These will include activities such as:

  • Moving the arms back and forth across the body
  • Shoulder blade rolls
  • Stretching upwards
  • Front-of-body circular movements

These three tips will really make a difference in your rehabilitation. It’s up to you to put them into action!


Mr Soong Chua: Melbourne’s leading shoulder surgeon.


If you’ve got questions about the total shoulder replacement surgery procedure, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mr Soong Chua’s expert team today.

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