You will have a bandage on your shoulder, the iceman (if ordered or supplied) and a sling. When you are awake and able to drink/eat, you will be discharged with instructions for home, a CD or thumb-drive video, and pictures of your surgery. The CD will work on a windows based computer but not Apple products.
The post-anesthesia recovery period is about an hour depending on how fast you wake up and can eat or drink. When you go home eat small bland meals that night and advance to your regular diet when you are feeling well and have an appetite.
You will take one antibiotic pill approximately 6 hours after surgery, and then another one 6 hours after that (only two doses to try to prevent infection). If the timing works out that you would be taking the last pill in the middle of the night, it is ok to wait until morning to take it.
Check to ensure your first post-op appointment is scheduled for 7-10 days after surgery.
Activity post surgery
You can move around as normal but take it easy for the first two days after surgery. Increase your activity slowly. You may walk or ride a bike, but not jog or swim.
Wearing a sling
How long you wear a sling depends on the type of surgery:
- Manipulation (scar tissue removal) and impingement (removal of bone spur) =1 day
- Rotator cuff repair = wear at all times for 4 weeks, or 6-12 weeks if it’s a large tear/repair
- Dislocating shouder/cartilage tear = wear at all time for 4 weeks
When to start Physical Therapy (P.T.)
This depends on the type of surgery:
- Manipulation (scar tissue removal) and impingement (removal of bone spur) =1 day post-op
- Rotator cuff repair = 1-2 weeks post-op, or longer if it’s a large tear/repair
- Dislocating shouder/cartilage tear = 3-4 weeks post-op
You must give your shoulder time to heal. You cannot use pain as a guide for intensity of activity in the post-op period. Repairs can be pulled apart if directions are not followed. Follow PT instructions and activity guidelines to avoid surgery failure.
You should not drive if you are taking opiates pain medication. If you are instructed to wear a sling you may not turn the wheel or shift with this arm. You must decide if you can safely drive and control your vehicle. Please check with your insurance agent about driving with a sling. We recommend that you not drive until the sling is off and you can drive safely.