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Arthroscopy Of The Shoulder

How Long Until Full Recovery?

Friday, March 16, 2012 - 16:52

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

The time it takes for a return to unlimited activities will depend on:

  • The original problem
  • The procedure that was performed
  • The repair that was made
  • The individual patient

Usually, at least six weeks of recovery time are required. In general, activities will be limited and gradually increased until the range-of-motion and strength in the repaired shoulder is equal to that of the other arm.

Repair of a rotator cuff tendon or shoulder dislocation usually takes four to six months to heal well enough for a return to full activity.

When Can I Return to Work?

In some cases, you may be able to return to light work within a few days. Depending on the procedure, heavy labor or contact sports may be limited for about six months, though you will be allowed a lighter type of work. But during this period, you will be continuing the exercise program set by the therapist and your doctor as you continue to strengthen the shoulder.