The shoulder joint is large and extremely important in the body. Shoulder osteoarthritis will cause patients to become passive in daily activities. At that time, shoulder replacement surgery will be the optimal solution to help patients improve this condition.

The article below will explain this surgery and answer, “Can I play pickleball after shoulder replacement?”

What Is Shoulder Replacement Surgery? 


Shoulder injury

Shoulder replacement surgery is one of the modern medical advances, helping to successfully intervene in joint damage due to degeneration or injury. Artificial joints have a lifespan of over 20 years, help patients escape the risk of disability, improve quality of life, and prevent many other diseases that affect health.

Below is a summary of the patient’s shoulder replacement surgery procedure:

  • The patient is anesthetized and numbs the shoulder and arm to reduce lasting pain after surgery.
  • Enter the shoulder joint with an incision on the front of the shoulder: incise the skin, separate the Delta muscle, and lift the muscle, nerve, and blood vessels to one side.
  • By cutting into the joint capsule, the surgeon enters the shoulder joint. This allows the doctor to see the joint.
  • The humeral head is removed with a bone saw. Then, fill the marrow of the humerus bone to choose the size of the artificial device to be placed in the humerus.
  • Next, grind away the damaged cartilage of the humeral glenoid and drill a suitable hole to place the artificial glenoid.
  • Finally, the humerus and glenoid are placed, and the articular head is connected.
  • The surgeon will check the fit. The joint capsule is sutured together once the surgeon is satisfied with the fit. The muscles are then returned to their correct position, and the skin is sutured.

How Long Is Recovery For Shoulder Replacement 

After surgery, you must stay in the recovery room for about 2 hours. The doctor will monitor the patient until he regains consciousness after anesthesia. 

You will feel numbness in your arm due to anesthesia during surgery. You also cannot move your fingers or wrist immediately after surgery.

You’d better stay in the hospital room for 2 to 3 days for observation. Surgery may cause pain, but you can take pain medication to make it more comfortable. In addition, you should also practice deep breathing to avoid lung congestion.

The doctor will hang your arm for about 4 to 6 weeks to make the recovery process faster and more effective. You can practice small therapeutic exercises that are good for recovery, such as holding and moving your hand.

Can I Play Pickleball After Shoulder Replacement?

Can I Play Pickleball After Shoulder Replacement
Can I Play Pickleball After Shoulder Replacement

According to many studies, it is possible to start playing pickleball again after shoulder replacement surgery. First, let’s see what kind of sport pickleball is. 

Pickleball is a sport that combines tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Players will use a special racket and hit the ball with their opponent over the net.

Thus, this sport requires quite a lot of activity from the shoulder muscles and tendons. After shoulder replacement surgery, you should follow your doctor’s advice and practice therapy to recover fully. You should only return to this sport when fully recovered; otherwise, your shoulder joint will continue to hurt.

In addition, when playing pickleball, you also need to note the following:

  • Warm up a lot before practicing or competing.
  • Avoid performing frequent or continuous, strenuous movements, creating too much pressure on the shoulder joint.
  • Wear shoulder supports.
  • Supplement adequate nutrition to enhance physical health.
  • Perform specialized exercises: Stand straight, put your arms behind your back, clasp your hands together. Keep your arms straight, slowly lift them upward, and maintain for about 15-20 seconds. Repeat the movement 3-4 times.

What Can You Never Do After Shoulder Replacement?

The shoulder joint on the surgical side is immobilized; it is necessary to use a belt to lift and stabilize the shoulder in an adducted and internally rotated position—fixed belt, mainly at night. Avoid stretching the shoulder joint and the joint capsule and tendons under the shoulder when sleeping.

During this period, the patient must not perform active exercises on the shoulder joint on the operated side, nor lift objects or push or pull.

How To Play Pickleball After Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder replacement surgery

To play pickleball after shoulder replacement, follow some of your doctor’s advice.

Warm up before playing pickleball

  • Swivel Neck

First, bend your neck forward and tilt your neck back at a slow speed, 10 times. Then, rotate your neck clockwise 10 times and counterclockwise another 10 times. This exercise helps the neck muscles work effectively, especially when hitting the shuttlecock from the back of the court.

  • Shoulder Rotation

Rotate each arm clockwise 10 times. Then, you change direction and continue to rotate 10 more times. Finally, turn both hands at the same time clockwise 10 times and counterclockwise 10 times. 

This exercise warms up the shoulder muscles and helps reduce shoulder and neck pain after playing badminton.

  • Wrist movement

Rotate each wrist 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise. The wrist plays an important role in badminton, so it must be warmed up thoroughly.

  • Rotate the Pillow

First, half-close your legs, bend your knees, and place your hands on your knees. Then, rotate both knees clockwise 10 times and reverse direction. The knee is an important joint and is also very susceptible to injury. Knee injuries often leave serious sequelae and require long-term treatment.

  • Hips

Rotate your hips 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise. You continue to do this movement 10 more times. When doing this movement, you spread your arms horizontally. 

Then, bend over so that your left-hand touches your right leg. Switch sides and go in the same direction.

Play Pickleball The Right Way.

Your playing technique greatly affects your shoulders. Pay attention to regulating the force on your shoulder blades, and don’t exercise too intensely. Pay attention to turning and hitting the ball accurately and effectively.

Practice Strength-Boosting Exercises

You can practice stretching exercises to increase shoulder strength. In addition, you can combine it with activities such as shoulder stretching, shoulder rolls, or doing exercises in the gym.

Combining these exercises will help you increase your health and firm your shoulder muscles. Rest after each workout to give your shoulders time to recover.

The simplest exercise is jogging. This is a simple but very familiar exercise. Although simple, this exercise brings many good health effects, such as a balanced, toned body, a comfortable mind, increased endurance, and extremely effective strength.

Jumping rope is also one of the very good physical exercises that many people often apply. When jumping rope, our body will burn many calories, our heart rate will beat, and our metabolism will go faster. Regular jumping rope will help you increase endurance, strength, and flexibility and effectively enhance physical fitness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Play Sports After Shoulder Replacement? 

The answer is yes. After shoulder replacement surgery, the patient will be guided by doctors on rehabilitation exercises in 4 stages (Protect the wound, promote tissue healing; Start active movement; Regain strength and fully recover range of motion; Return to functional activities, can play sports normally as before). 

According to this procedure, after only 1-2 weeks, the patient can practice light movements. After 3-6 months, the function of the shoulder joint will be more stable, almost reaching the normal activity level.

Can You Throw A Ball After Shoulder Replacement? 

You can throw a ball after shoulder replacement surgery, but it will take time to fully recover. Depending on the patient’s condition, recovery time varies, usually 3-4 months. After this period, the shoulder joints are connected, and activities can be performed as before.

What Percentage Of Disability Is A Shoulder Replacement? 

Shoulder replacement surgery is a completely new and safe treatment method today. Patients can restore normal shoulder function and play sports such as badminton, tennis, and golf. 

Although it is a new technology, the success rate of shoulder replacement surgery is over 50%, so patients can rest assured with this treatment method.

Are There Permanent Restrictions After Shoulder Replacement?

  • Sport: Even though a new shoulder replacement surgery has been performed, the patient still cannot do normal sports activities like before. They can participate in sports but should only play moderately and not overexert their shoulder joints.
  • Strength: According to statistics of patients recovering from shoulder replacement surgery, shoulder strength is only about 50-75% of the original level.
  • Shoulder shape: After surgery, the shoulder and arm muscles stretch and make the shoulder rounder than usual.


This article has answered the question, “Can I play pickleball after shoulder replacement?” and related notes when you perform this method. Shoulder replacement surgery is recommended when patients have severe joint damage, affecting joint function and quality of life. After recovery, you can play some sport, but in a short time. 

>>See more: Can I play pickleball after spinal fusion?