Your first week after surgery is very important to minimize swelling and discomfort. Swelling is a natural response to surgery.
SLEEP ON YOUR BACK – or upright with you head and shoulders elevated on pillows. Wear the sling/immobilizer at night when you sleep. If you are too uncomfortable in your bed, some patient’s have found that sleeping in a recliner or the couch is helpful.
USE THE ICE PACK – every 2 hours for 20 minutes. The cold will make a difference in your discomfort level. Do not leave this on until it melts.
TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS – A prescription will be provided for you to decrease pain and swelling, it is not necessary for you to suffer. You may also take ibuprofen for moderate pain unless you were given a prescription strength anti-inflammatory (Celebrex or Mobic). If you received a shoulder block before surgery you may feel very comfortable for 5-10 hours after you go home. You should take your medicine at the first sign of the block wearing off to give it time to take effect.
Remove you bandage after 36 hours – You may the take a shower if there is no drainage from the incisions. After your shower, clean the incision with alcohol and cover with band aids; avoid ointments like Neosporin.
DO YOUR EXERCISES – You may be given exercises to do on discharge; this will help to keep your shoulder from getting stiff. Try to move your fingers, hand, and wrist as often as possible. Squeezing a tennis ball or racquetball is also a good exercise. You may use your hand to do activities in front of you such as eat, brush your teeth, or apply makeup. Physical therapy should begin in 3-5 days if possible.
FOLLOW UP VISIT – Call our office to schedule your follow-up visit, we usually need to see you in 10-14 days.
CONCERNS – Please call the office if you have any questions or if you experience any of the following: Fever greater than 100.5 that does not subside after Tylenol, excessive drainage or redness associated with warmth around your incision, or pain unrelieved by your pain medication.