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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

After Shoulder ArthroscopyDespu©s de la artroscopia del hombro

After Shoulder Arthroscopy

After your arthroscopy, you will recover in the hospital or surgery center for a few hours. In some cases, you may stay overnight. When you are able to go home, you will be instructed how to relieve any pain and how to care for your shoulder as it heals. To help with healing, a program of physical therapy (PT) may be prescribed.

Physical therapy can help you regain full use of your shoulder. Your program will be tailored to your surgery.

In the Recovery Room

After surgery, you'll be taken to a recovery area to rest. You'll have a bandage to protect your incisions, and a sling to hold your arm in place. Nurses will give you medications to help relieve pain. A device is sometimes used to deliver pain medication directly into the joint. In some cases, cold packs or a cooling unit may be used to reduce swelling in your shoulder.

Going Home

Before leaving the hospital or surgery center, be sure to know how to care for your shoulder at home. Ask any questions you have. Also know who to contact if you have questions later. When you are ready to leave the hospital or surgery center, an adult family member or friend will need to drive you home.

At Home

  • Take prescribed pain medications as directed. Don't wait for pain to get bad before you take them.

  • Ice your shoulder 3 times a day for 20 minutes at a time. Use an ice machine (if given one) or a bag of ice or frozen peas. Put a thin cloth between your skin and the ice source.

  • Take care of your incisions as directed. You can begin bathing again in 3 days.

  • See your doctor for a follow-up visit 5 days after surgery.

  • Wear your sling as directed for 14 days.

  • Complete your physical therapy program.

  • Avoid these activities: _____________, _____________, ______________

Call Your Doctor If You Have

  • Fever over 101°F

  • Bleeding from an incision

  • Increased shoulder pain or swelling

  • A red or oozing incision

  • Numbness or tingling that doesn't go away 24 hours after surgery

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2005-04-05T00:00:00-06:00

Experience optimal physical therapy techniques and compassionate patient care at Benton Franklin Orthopedic Associates and Benton Franklin Physical Therapy. Call us today at 509.586.2828 to schedule an appointment or use our online Request an Appointment form.

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