If you are having surgery in the coming week to repair a tear in your rotator cuff, then it is important that you know how to heal your shoulder post-surgery with the least amount of pain and chance for reinjury. While you should always follow the specific instructions from an orthopedic surgeon, like those at El Camino Center for Sports Medicine. There are some basic things that all shoulder surgery patients can use to successfully heal and regain movement after their procedure. To this end, here are some time-tested tips to help you successfully heal your shoulder after your upcoming rotator cuff surgery:
Tip: Use Ice to Help Control Swelling and Pain in Your Shoulder
Since excess swelling of the rotator cuff tendons leads to more pain in your shoulder, you should regularly put ice packs on your shoulder after your surgical procedure. The ice will also help to lessen the pain you feel. Many people use frozen bags of vegetables for ice packs because they will mold nicely to all of the curves of the shoulder joint. You should wrap the frozen bag in a towel so that your skin will not be burned by frostbite.
Tip: Attend All of Your Physical Therapy Appointments
Since physical therapy is the best way to rehab your shoulder after rotator cuff surgery, it is vital that you make it a point to attend all of your physical therapy appointments. If you make a habit of skipping or rescheduling your appointments, then your rotator cuff will become unnecessarily stiff and your recovery process will take a lot longer and may not be as successful. By attending all of your physical therapy appointments, you will ensure that your shoulder has the absolute best chance for a full recovery.
Tip: Wear Your Sling for as Long as It is Prescribed by Your Surgeon
Finally, while you may find it inconvenient to do so, you must wear your sling for as long as it is prescribed by your orthopedic surgeon. The purpose of the sling is to take pressure off of your damaged rotator cuff tendons to give them a better chance at healing. If you stop wearing your sling too soon, then your rotator cuff's tendon can tear again and require repeat surgery. If this happens then you will lose all of the rehabilitation progress that you have made to date. When you no longer need to wear your sling your orthopedist will let you know.