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Shoulder Care Post-OP

Rotary Cuff Surgery

Rotator Cuff surgery can be very painful for the first few days after surgery. Typically, the first night and few days that follow will be the most severe. Once you arrive home from surgery begin taking your medication for pain. It is important to stay on top of your pain. The block from the anesthesia will wear off and you will be in a considerable amount of discomfort if you have not been keeping yourself medicated. Depending on your pain level it is ok to take 2 pain pills every six hours if needed, you can then decrease to 1 every 6 hours or as needed. It is also recommended that you have Motrin (Ibuprofen) on hand to take between the pain medication doses. You will need to take 800mg three times a day. It is common to experience difficulty sleeping. Some patients have found that sleeping up-right in a recliner helps with the discomfort.

  • Remove dressing in 2 days, dress incision with 4 x 4 gauze or bandaids
  • Clean incisions with Hydrogen Peroxide daily
  • Ice & Elevate your shoulder daily
  • Sleep in an upright position
  • Wear Shoulder immobilizer at all times except for showering
  • Resume your regular home medications
  • You can expect some slight drainage from incisions
  • Use Ibuprofen / Motrin for additional discomfort unless otherwise instructed
  • Call for an appointment in 10-14 days

You may shower in 3 days without a dressing on the shoulder;
Keep incisions as dry as possible. KEEP ARM AT YOUR SIDE WHILE SHOWERING

Shoulder Surgery

  • Remove dressing in 2 days and dress incisions with 4×4 gauze or band aids.
  • Clean incisions with hydrogen peroxide daily.
  • Ice & elevate your shoulder.
  • Use Sling as needed, ok to remove in 1-2 days- No heavy lifting.
  • Resume your regular home medications.
  • You can expect some slight drainage from incisions.

If you had a shoulder block (see Anesthesia) you can expect your arm to be numb. A block can last anywhere from a few hours to 12-24 hrs following surgery. We suggest as soon as you get home from surgery you begin taking your pain medication before the block wears off. This will avoid the chance you could get behind in controlling your pain.

  • Take your pain medications as prescribed.
  • You may take Advil or Motrin/Ibuprofen for additional discomfort unless otherwise instructed.
  • Call and make an appointment for suture removal and check up in 10-14 days following surgery
  • Resume your regular diet.

Showers- For the 1st and 2nd day shower with incisions covered and dry. Keep arm near your side. On the 3rd day you may shower and allow water (no soap) on the incision, after shower clean incision with peroxide and keep incision dry as possible.

To prevent infection please refrain from swimming and or hot tubs until cleared by physician
If you have any questions or concerns please call our office

Standard or Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

  • Keep dressing on until post-op visit
  • Ice and elevate frequently for pain and selling; before and after activity
  • Remain in sling except to perform exercises
  • Exercises to include pendulum movements and gently bending and straightening your elbow 2-3 times a day or as directed
  • Take your pain medication as prescribed
  • Resume your regular home medications unless instructed otherwise
  • Resume your regular diet
  • Call for an appointment to be 14 days from the day of surgery
  • Home health care arrangements will have been made on your behalf prior to leaving the hospital or rehab facility
  • Any problems call the office or go to the nearest emergency room


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