What to Eat and Drink After Your Shoulder Replacement

What to Eat and Drink After Your Shoulder Replacement

Chronic shoulder pain from an injury or degeneration is sometimes hard to treat without surgery. If you have significant arthritis or damage within your joint, a shoulder replacement may be the best choice for pain relief and functionality.

Recovery after surgery is crucial as it can make or break your new joint. The food and drinks you consume in the weeks following your procedure are vital to the healing process in your joint.

The team at Orthopaedic Specialists understands the importance of proper nutrition while you heal from surgery. Dr. Brandon Downs offers shoulder replacement surgery and detailed preoperative and postoperative instructions to prepare you for recovery.

Understanding a shoulder replacement

Your shoulder joint is a crucial joint you use daily, putting it at risk for injury and degenerative conditions. While you can manage most shoulder conditions with conservative treatments, sometimes they're not enough to reduce your pain and restore function in your joint.

If you have severe arthritis caused by an injury or degeneration and nothing else has helped, Dr. Downs recommends a shoulder replacement. It's a surgical procedure that allows Dr. Downs to replace damaged areas in your joint for reduced pain and a better quality of life.

During a shoulder replacement, Dr. Downs cleans out your shoulder joint and removes damaged bone and cartilage to make room for the artificial parts of your new joint.

The artificial components of your new shoulder joint are called prostheses. They consist of stainless steel, rigid plastics, and titanium. These components help reduce pain from arthritis, improve your range of motion, and increase the strength of your joint.

Vital nutrition after surgery

A shoulder replacement is a great way to regain the use of your shoulder, but the real work begins after your procedure. The recovery process is the most crucial aspect of surgery, where you start to heal and improve your shoulder and arm use.

Physical therapy and medications are a great way to start your recovery. Still, you can only do something with proper nutrition. Eating the right foods and staying hydrated after surgery is crucial to recovery.

Hydration is an essential part of recovery. You may not be hungry for the first few hours after your surgery. However, begin drinking water as soon as possible to rehydrate your body.

When you go home, you may want to eat fast food or easy meals. While this is occasionally okay, whole foods and proper nutrition are more important than you think.

For instance, protein consumption is vital for healing your shoulder and incisions after a shoulder replacement. Your body needs protein because it builds new tissue after surgery.

It's also good to focus on foods that contain fiber. Anesthesia and pain medications often lead to constipation, making it more difficult to recover. Add foods high in fiber into your diet to prevent constipation, including:

Insoluble fiber is the best type after surgery because it increases the speed of your stools through your gastrointestinal tract. A fiber supplement can also help, although you won't get any nutritional benefits.

What foods to avoid during recovery

Just like there are foods you should focus on after your shoulder replacement, there are also foods you should avoid. Focus on eating whole foods like lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and high-fiber foods.

One thing you should avoid after surgery is alcohol. Drinking alcohol while you're recovering is a recipe for disaster. It provides no nutritional value and may lead to dehydration and injuries to your new shoulder.

You should also avoid processed foods with almost no nutritional value. Foods in this category include:

These foods not only lead to constipation after surgery but don't have the essential nutrients you need to heal correctly. It's okay to have these foods once in a while, but you should focus on something other than them during the recovery process.

Dr. Downs and his team provide nutritional information before your shoulder replacement. He answers any questions you may have related to the recovery process.

To learn more about shoulder replacement surgery, don't hesitate to call Orthopaedic Specialists today or request an online appointment at one of our offices in the Nashville, Tennessee, area.

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