Playing sports, cooking, driving, and pretty much every single daily activity employs the use of your shoulders. However, the shoulder’s mobility and usefulness also make it prone to instability and injuries.
Chronic shoulder pain, stiffness, arthritis, and limited mobility can now be resolved with minimally invasive surgical repair. Today, orthopedic surgeons can examine your shoulder joint and the adjacent soft tissues and make repairs all at once, and this surgical procedure is called shoulder arthroscopy.
During the procedure, the surgeon uses an arthroscope, which is a long tube with a tiny camera function at the end to examine and repair the damaged structures in your shoulder. Because the arthroscope is so small, it doesn’t require large incisions – which means there’s less tissue that must heal after the surgery, generally translating to a shorter recovery period
Let’s talk about what recovery from shoulder arthroscopy is like.
What Should I Expect in Shoulder Surgery Recovery?
After the operation, your surgeon will place your arm in a sling as it heals. The presence of swelling and changes in skin color are normal, and they should go away in a couple of days. Any numbness you feel is a side effect of the anesthetic, which should go away within a day or so. Your surgeon will explain how long it will be before you can remove the sling.
When you are released from the hospital, you will need to have someone you know drive you home. You will be feeling tired and groggy at first. Plenty of rest is necessary to help you recover – when lying down, place a pillow under your arm to help relieve swelling and provide support.
The doctor will prescribe pain medication to help relieve any pain and discomfort you experience during recovery. As your pain improves, you can take the pain medication less often. If you begin to feel any dependency on the medication, let your surgeon know right away.
Incision Site Care
Your surgeon will give you instructions for care of your wound where the incision was made during the surgery; these instructions will include when to remove the dressing. When bathing, do not let water hit the dressing directly. Sterilization strips are usually left to fall off on their own.
Return to Activity
A gradual return to your normal activities is encouraged after shoulder arthroscopy surgery. Avoid strenuous activities, but you can start by walking every day. Your physical therapist will explain how to gradually increase the duration of your exercises.
Avoid lifting any heavy items as your shoulder heals. During recovery, you will be working with a physical therapist to help restore your strength and range of motion.
Shoulder Surgeon in Little Rock, AR
Bowen Hefley Orthopedics is a leading expert in the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder pain and injuries. From overuse injuries to fractures, our orthopedic team has the skills and experience to address the issue and restore your shoulder’s function and range of motion.
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, have it evaluated by our compassionate and board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. William Hefley. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hefley, contact our team today by calling us at (800) 336-2412 or request an appointment via our online form. We look forward to seeing you and helping you find relief from your shoulder pain.