9 Must-Haves After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Rotator Cuff Surgery, recovery, The Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, PA,

Having surgery, even minimally invasive surgery, presents challenges. Rotator cuff surgery limits your ability to use your arm, and you may be surprised at the impact just that limitation has on your life. These nine must-haves after surgery will help you enjoy a smooth recovery.

1. An understanding of your after-care instructions

Before you go home after your procedure, make sure you have a thorough understanding of what you should — and shouldn’t — do when you get home, and who you should call if you have questions.

Having written instructions gives you a reference if you question your memory when you get home. The staff at The Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, PA, goes over your instructions and provides you with a written copy.

It’s also helpful to have someone with you when you’re given your after-care instructions. You, after all, have just had surgery and may not remember as well as you might at other times.

2. Supplies to make showering easier

When you’re cleared to shower or bathe after your rotator cuff surgery, you may find having certain supplies makes the task easier. For example, a shower chair can reduce the risk of falling.

A detachable shower head may make it easier to keep your incision dry; waterproof bandages and other supplies may also be helpful.

3. Extra pillows

Sadly, surgery won’t instantly stop your pain. Your shoulder will hurt for a while after your procedure. You’ll wear a sling, but having pillows for support as you recover may help reduce your pain level.

4. Food

Whether you have some frozen meals on hand or you have a delivery service you’re going to use, having a plan for meals makes recovery easier. Eating foods that are high in fiber, such as oats, broccoli, beans, prunes, and apples, may help you avoid constipation, which is common after surgery.

5. Proper medical supplies

Make sure that your prescriptions are filled and that all of your medications are organized and on-hand, and that you have the recommended bandages for your incision. You may need a special solution to clean your incision, or other medical supplies.

6. Easy clothing

Shirts that pull over your head can be very difficult to manage when you can’t raise your arm. Tying your shoes may also be problematic. Take stock of your wardrobe and look for shirts that button or zip, shoes that slip on and off or that velcro, and what you’re likely to be able to manage most easily.

7. Someone to help

If you live alone, you should arrange to have a friend or family member check in with you because you may need help.

8. Patience

You’re looking at about a six-week recovery timeline, and that’s likely to require a great deal of patience on your part. The most important thing you can do to improve the likelihood of a quick recovery: Follow the instructions your health care provider from The Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, PA, gives you.

9. A follow-up appointment

Your follow-up appointment is critical to make sure your incision is healing properly and there’s no signs of infection or other complications. If you have a referral to a specialist such as a physical therapist, showing up is extremely important to ensure that your muscles heal properly and that you regain strength in your shoulder.

A little planning goes a long way toward a complication-free, speedy recovery. If you have questions about what to expect after your procedure, book an appointment at The Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, PA, online or by phone today.

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