Post-Surgery

Important Things to Know

Your Dressing

The dressing should be removed on the second day after your surgery. In other words, if you had surgery on Tuesday, you can take the bandages off on Thursday morning. If the wound is dry and does not leak from the second postoperative until the third postoperative day, you can shower on the third day. We do not recommend that you take a bath or go swimming until the sutures are removed. If you have a knee or shoulder replacement, we do not recommend showering until 1 week after surgery and not until there has been no drainage at all from the wound for 72 hours.

Showering without the shoulder immobilizer (sling) after shoulder surgery can compromise the surgical repair. We recommend purchasing a second sling to be used in the shower which can be left in the bathroom to dry between showers.

Sleeping After Shoulder Surgery

Sleeping is often uncomfortable after shoulder surgery. You may use pillows around the shoulder to make a support for it in order to get comfortable. Alternatively, to find a more comfortable position, you may elect to sleep in a reclining chair.

How To Wear Your Shoulder Immobilizer/Sling After Shoulder Surgery

You should wear the strap around your neck in the most comfortable position on your shoulders. The waist strap must only be worn at night when you sleep and can be removed during the day. The sling can be removed while lying on your back to bend and straighten the elbow. The sling can be removed for short periods if you are awake and the arm is well supported. Typing is generally allowed in the first two weeks postoperatively as long as the arm is supported, it is not used away from the body, and you do not type excessively. If you had arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, labrum repair, or shoulder stabilization, we generally do not recommend physical therapy before 4 weeks and do not recommend that you do any exercises until after that time. However, there are exceptions to these rules on an individual basis.

Using Your Cryocuff

The cryocuff will not be very effective until the second morning after surgery when you remove the dressing. After that, you can place the cryocuff on the skin and it will be helpful to reduce pain and swelling. You can use it continuously, or as much as you like, providing you change the water every 45-60 minutes.

Antibiotics After Joint Replacement

Please let your doctor or dentist know you have a prosthetic joint replacement. While not known with certainty to be needed or to be effective for all patients, I recommend antibiotics for dental and oral procedures, as well as gastrointestinal and genitourinary procedures.

© 2011 - Robert G. Marx, MD - Privacy

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