New Mexico specialists of the shoulder, elbow, knee and ankle
 

 
 

Care of the Shoulder after Surgery
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Post-Op Care
The protocols described here are general in nature. Every human being and every surgery is different so the information given here is for general guidance only. If you have questions you should contact us.

For detailed Post-Op information on each of the surgeries we perform, click on the procedure listed below. To return to the menu, click the 'Top' link immediately following each Post-Op description.

Subacromial Decompression
Rotator Cuff Repair
Capsular Shift for Instability
Superior Labrum Repair

Subacromial Decompression

Day 1
When you are discharged from the day surgery unit you will be taken to the car in a wheel chair.

Your arm will be in a sling. The sling is for comfort and is not really protective. You can begin moving your arm and get rid of the sling as soon as you are comfortable without it.

Begin taking liquids and food as soon as you can. You should always take some solid food, a sandwich or light meal, a little while before taking your pain medications.

Day 2
Things are much the same on the second day after your surgery. Usually you have less pain and feel like doing more. You can remove the dressings at about 24 hours after your surgery. It is OK to shower and wash the incisions with soap and water. There is no need to cover the incisions. Do not soak the shoulder as in a bathtub. After you dry your shoulder you can cover the incisions with bandaids. You will need regular sized bandaids for the small incisions. If you feel that the pain medication you were given after surgery is stronger than you really need you can reduce the dose, take it less frequently or switch to ibuprophen or Tylenol.

You can begin moving your arm by bending at the waist and letting your arm hang in front of you. Relax your muscles as much as you can and swing your arm in circles by moving your trunk. You can also stretch by placing your arm on a table in front of you and leaning away from it.

Approximately Day 7
We will see you back about one week after your surgery and remove your stitches. We will review with you what was done in surgery and will talk about rehab and answer any questions you may have. The next follow up after the sutures are out will be about five or six weeks after your surgery.
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Rotator Cuff Repair

Day 1
When you are discharged from the day surgery unit you will be taken to the car in a wheel chair.

Your arm will be in a sling. The sling has a belly band and should be worn at all times, even to bed. This sling protects the structures that were repaired during surgery. It will be a few weeks before the structures will be strong enough to hold up with movement.

Begin taking liquids and food as soon as you can. You should always take some solid food, a sandwich or light meal, a little while before taking your pain medications.

Day 2
Things are much the same on the second day after your surgery. Usually you have less pain and feel like doing more. You can remove the dressings at about 24 hours after your surgery. It is OK to shower and wash the incisions with soap and water. There is no need to cover the incisions. Do not soak the shoulder as in a bathtub. After you dry your shoulder you can cover the incisions with bandaids. You will need regular sized bandaids for the small incisions. If you feel that the pain medication you were given after surgery is stronger than you really need you can reduce the dose, take it less frequently or switch to ibuprophen or Tylenol.

Approximately Day 7
We will see you back about one week after your surgery and remove your stitches. We will review with you what was done in surgery and will talk about rehab and answer any questions you may have. The next follow up after the sutures are out will be about five or six weeks after your surgery.
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Capsular Shift for Instability

Day 1
When you are discharged from the day surgery unit you will be taken to the car in a wheel chair.

Your arm will be in a sling. The sling has a belly band and should be worn at all times, even to bed. This sling protects the structures that were repaired during surgery. It will be a few weeks before the structures will be strong enough to hold up with movement.

Begin taking liquids and food as soon as you can. You should always take some solid food, a sandwich or light meal, a little while before taking your pain medications.

Day 2
Things are much the same on the second day after your surgery. Usually you have less pain and feel like doing more. You can remove the dressings at about 24 hours after your surgery. It is OK to shower and wash the incisions with soap and water. There is no need to cover the incisions. Do not soak the shoulder as in a bathtub. After you dry your shoulder you can cover the incisions with bandaids. You will need regular sized bandaids for the small incisions. If you feel that the pain medication you were given after surgery is stronger than you really need you can reduce the dose, take it less frequently or switch to ibuprophen or Tylenol.

Approximately Day 7
We will see you back about one week after your surgery and remove your stitches. We will review with you what was done in surgery and will talk about rehab and answer any questions you may have. The next follow up after the sutures are out will be about five or six weeks after your surgery.
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Back to Main Post-Op Info Page

Superior Labrum Repair

Day 1
When you are discharged from the day surgery unit you will be taken to the car in a wheel chair.

Your arm will be in a sling. The sling has a bellyband and should be worn at all times, even to bed. This sling protects the structures that were repaired during surgery. It will be a few weeks before the structures will be strong enough to hold up with movement. It is important that you not move the elbow because that can damage the repair.

Begin taking liquids and food as soon as you can. You should always take some solid food, a sandwich or light meal, a little while before taking your pain medications.

Day 2
Things are much the same on the second day after your surgery. Usually you have less pain and feel like doing more. You can remove the dressings at about 24 hours after your surgery. It is OK to shower and wash the incisions with soap and water. There is no need to cover the incisions. Do not soak the shoulder as in a bathtub. After you dry your shoulder you can cover the incisions with Band-Aids. You will need regular sized Band-Aids for the small incisions. If you feel that the pain medication you were given after surgery is stronger than you really need you can reduce the dose, take it less frequently or switch to ibuprophen or Tylenol.

Approximately Day 7
We will see you back about one week after your surgery and remove your stitches. We will review with you what was done in surgery and will talk about rehab and answer any questions you may have. The next follow up after the sutures are out will be about five or six weeks after your surgery.
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