Returning to Sports After Your Shoulder Surgery

Any injury, no matter how small, can be frustrating to an avid sports participant. It’s especially frustrating if you need surgery to correct or heal the injury. This typically means weeks or months of downtime and difficulty returning to your sport, but it doesn’t have to. 

Dr. W. Joseph Absi and his team at Orthopaedics of Atlanta and Aesthetic Institute specialize in treating your shoulder injury, and most importantly, seeing you back in playing form as soon as possible. 

Shoulder basics

Your shoulder is a very large and complex joint. It consists of your upper arm bone (humerus) and your shoulder blade (scapula) which fit together like a ball and socket. There are numerous other smaller bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles that work together to form your shoulder. 

Because your shoulder is so complicated, too much undue stress or too many unnatural movements while playing sports leave it vulnerable to a variety of injuries. 

Some common sports-related shoulder injuries that require surgery are tears and dislocations. These happen especially if you engage in high-contact sports like football, basketball, and soccer, or sports that require you to make repetitive, forceful overhead motions like swimming, baseball, basketball, tennis, and volleyball. 

Dr. Absi’s expert surgical care is effective in repairing any damage or dislocation, but you might be worried about how surgery will affect your playing time. While we can’t promise you’ll be back to 100% immediately, we can share our tips on how to make that comeback as quickly as possible.  

Tips on returning to your sport

Dr. Absi knows how important it is for you to get off the bench and back in the game. Here are a few things he recommends for you to do just that:

Listen to our recommendations

It can be so tempting to jump off the bench and straight onto the field. While some recovery times are quicker than others, it’s extremely important that you adhere to Dr. Absi’s medical advice. 

Keeping your shoulder from any movement or force for as long as Dr. Absi recommends not only ensures that you’re back as soon as possible, but it lessens the likelihood of reinjuring yourself in the process. Typically, you can return to your sport when you’re not experiencing any more pain and have regained your full range of motion. 

Listen to yourself

Or, more appropriately, your shoulder. Pain signals from your shoulder are especially important to listen to following shoulder surgery. If you feel shoulder pain, tiredness, or instability, stop your activity immediately. 

It’s best to return to your sport gradually. Don’t swing your hardest or hit with full force until you and Dr. Absi are certain your shoulder is ready. Of course, you’re always encouraged to schedule follow-up appointments with us to evaluate and discuss your post-op concerns. 

Increase your cardio

While you’re sitting out, you’ll likely be in a sling or other immobilizer to protect your shoulder. The best thing you can do for your eventual return is to focus on your cardiovascular conditioning. Maintaining this aspect of your fitness keeps your body strong and as close to playing condition as possible, making your comeback as smooth as it can be. 

Don’t let the fear of getting surgery keep you from playing the game. Dr. Absi and his expert team are dedicated to your recovery and ultimately your return to the playing field. When you’re ready to treat your shoulder pain without losing your momentum, call our office at 404-334-2929 or schedule an appointment online today. 

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