Dressings: Water proof dressings will be applied in hospital, and you are welcome to shower. Remove dressings 8 days after surgery and if the wounds are dry, leave open.
Exercises:Early mobilisation is important to avoid stiffness and scar formation. Start by:
Do each of these activities 10x every day for about 1 minute.
Sling: After surgery you will be given a sling. The purpose of the sling is to protect the tendon repair. The sling must be worn at all times for 4 – 6 weeks, except during therapy, exercises and showering. You may loosen the sling and use your arm for light waist level activity with the arm at the side (eating, washing your face, putting in contacts, using a keyboard). You may bend your elbow as tolerated. You may not lift your arm away from your body, lift heavy objects, or perform forceful repetitive activities.
Getting dressed: Use button-up shirts or blouses initially. First put the operated arm in the sleeve, followed by the other arm. Do in reverse when undressing.
Pain management: Take your pain medication regularly in the first 3-5 days, to allow for adequate pain relief and mobilisation. Take pain medication and sleep tablets at night, to allow for a good night’s rest. Patients are generally more comfortable, sleeping in a reclining chair, or with pillows propped behind the shoulder. Some difficulty with sleeping is common for 2-3 weeks after surgery. It is beneficial to have ice packs available, as this will help with post- operative swelling and pain control. Bags of frozen vegetables work very well. Never put ice directly on the skin, and rather cover it in a towel. Ice your shoulder 20 minutes out of every 1-2 hours when you are awake for the first 3-5 days.
Physiotherapy: Will commence 6 weeks post operatively.
Driving: You should not drive until your shoulder is out of the sling and you have full control of your shoulder muscles. Until that time you may not have the ability to react rapidly in an emergency situation. You should refrain from driving for 6 weeks. No one should operate a motor vehicle while taking narcotic medications.
Post-operative follow up visits: 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 5 months.
Symptoms to report immediately:
IMPORTANT: PLEASE CONTACT DR VAN DEN BERG’S ROOMS IF YOU ARE UNSURE OR CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR CONDITION