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.