Let's assume that you had a surgical arthroscopic, i.e. closed procedure performed on your shoulder.
The entry incisions in your shoulder are created to identify the problem and to perform procedures such as shaving "bony growth", repairing torn tendons (rotator cuff), and removing the calcified AC joint (the small but problematic joint at the tip of the collarbone)
Therefore: it's normal to have some discomfort and/or pain in the first few days following this procedure. Everyone responds to and describes the pain differently, but prescribed painkillers will usually be sufficient to control your pain. However, severe or increasing pain during the first few days may be a reason to consult your doctor before your scheduled appointment.
Unless recommended otherwise, your post-operative care will involve the following:
• Discharge on the same day or the day after
• Change of dressing every 3 days in the first 10 days
• Removal of the sutures on the 9th-10th day and the first doctor check-up
• The second doctor check-up
• after nearly 3 weeks of exercises involving simply squeezing a ball with the hand/wrist while the shoulder/arm is in a sling, moving the arm in all directions and sliding the forearm back and forth The 3rd doctor check-up
• including the removal of the sling and referral of the patient to physiotherapy at approximately the 5th-6th week After around 4 weeks, the 4th doctor check-up
• for receiving information about how the physiotherapy is going and providing suggestions on improving strength General check-up, i.e. the 5th doctor check-up sometime between the 4th and 5th month
OTHER REASONS FOR CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR EARLIER THAN SCHEDULED:
• A FEVER higher than 38.5ºC.
• THIS COULD BE NORMAL within the first 24-48 hours after general anesthesia. However, any fever that develops afterwards or lasts longer than 48 hours should be a cause for reconsulting your doctor.
This is common within the first few hours after general anesthesia.
If the severe nausea continues or prevents you from performing your daily activities, a relatively soft diet is recommended for the first few days after surgery to reduce the possibility of nausea.
This is related to the accumulation of fluid in the soft tissues around the shoulder due to the arthroscopic procedure and goes away within the first 24-48 hours. The first surgery dressing can create a distension. If required, this dressing can be replaced with a dry one. In case of a continued swelling, a doctor's visit earlier than your scheduled appointment may be required.
Bleeding in some areas of the shoulder are common within nearly 48 hours following the removal of the bony growth. This bleeding is caused by gravity and can turn into bruising. It usually disintegrates in 3-4 days and there should be no cause for concern. Bruising may occur following surgery for fractures and rotator cuff surgeries.
CLOTHING / SHOWERING
Your shoulder is covered with a dressing in a sterile environment in the operating room. Dressings and covers will no longer be required after three days. At this point, you can check your skin for any sign of infection (fever, redness, drainage) and you can take a shower after three days
There is no need to cover the incision (the surgical wound) unless your doctor instructs you to do so. You can get the area wet as long as the pressure of the water is low, but do not attempt to harshly scrub or rub the area. Dry the area after showering and a dry dressing can be applied on the area if desired. Avoid creams or ointments unless they're instructed to be applied by your doctor !!!.
You are not to soak your surgical wounds in a bath, pool or hot tub until your doctor allows you to do so (usually 10-14 days after surgery).
This is very useful in reducing the pain, inflammation and swelling in the shoulder. Ice can be applied on the area a couple of times a day for twenty minutes. It is usually recommended to take a one-hour or longer break between ice treatments.
Your arm may be placed in a sling after surgery for your comfort.
DO NOT STOP USING THE SLING AFTER A ROTATOR CUFF REPAIR OR A FRACTURE SURGERY.
You will be wearing a sling for nearly 6 weeks after a rotator cuff repair.
In order to keep the repair at an adequate level, please start performing your exercises including the squeezing of a stress ball; the elbow exercises as of the next day of the surgery, by particularly paying attention to fully sliding your forearm back; and also the wrist exercises for at least a couple of sets with 20-30 repetitions each. These exercises should prevent not only the swelling in the shoulder, but also the mobility restrictions in the elbow and the wrist.
PHYSICAL THERAPY AND PHYSIOTHERAPY
Physiotherapy will be discussed with you on your first doctor's visit after surgery. The goal of the physiotherapy treatment is to reduce the stiffness and limitations that may occur so that the healing process can begin. After rotator cuff repairs and Bankart (recurrent dislocation) procedures, physiotherapy should begin in approximately 4-6 weeks.
Patients are prohibited from driving until they are free of all narcotic drugs and remove their sling.
Whether a vehicle has an automatic gear or not, driving it is unsafe unless the patient gains enough power and mobility and is able to use both hands comfortably.
In the post-operative period, no particular combination of medications prescribed by your doctor to make you feel better can completely eliminate your pain. However, a drug combination regimen is effective in reducing pain and inflammation. Subsequent medications will be prescribed to you during the follow-up period.
Parol 500 mg tablets should be taken orally three times a day for about ten days to help reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. In the first few days, this medicine can cause stomach discomfort and should always be taken with food. Please inform your doctor of any history of an ulcer or a reflux and ask for your prescription to be changed, if necessary.
If you start to experience constipation, try eating whole grains (with 8-10 grams of fiber) and drink plenty of fluids.