Total Shoulder Postop Discharge Instructions
- Regular Tylenol (acetaminophen), 1-2 tablets may be taken every 4-6 hours, if needed, for discomfort
- Review medication instruction sheet given by your nurse for your prescription medications
- Regular – Eat a well-balanced diet
- A Multi-vitamin capsule each morning for 1 month is encouraged
Incision / Line Care
- Your sutures will be removed 10-14 days after surgery at your follow-up visit with Dr. Badman. You should keep the incision covered by a bandage or waterproof dressing until the sutures are removed.
- If you notice any of the following symptoms of infection, please call Dr. Badman’s office
- Drainage from the incision
- The incision becomes red and very hot
- You develop a fever over 101.5 degrees
Bathing / Showers
- You may shower 2-3 days after your surgery. You should cover the incision with a waterproof dressing. DO NOT APPLY LOTIONS OR CREAMS OR ANTIBIOTIC GELS TO THE INCISION SITE.
- YOUR IMMOBILIZER MAY BE TAKEN OFF FOR SHOWER PURPOSES BUT WHILE OUT OF SLING PLACE ARM ON BELLY. YOU MAY GENTLY STRAIGHTEN THE ARM DOWN TO THE SIDE AND WASH UNDERNEATH YOUR ARMPIT AS WELL.
Shoulder Sling/ Immobilizer
It is important that you use your sling or immobilizer full time until it is removed by Dr. Badman. This generally takes around 4-6 weeks. This is important because to enter your shoulder, a rotator cuff muscle is taken off the bone and then repaired at the end of your surgery. If you move your arm too rapidly too soon this may damage the repair and result in a poor outcome for your replacement.
- Straightening your elbow and moving your wrist several times a day is extremely important after your surgery. This will prevent stiffness from setting into the elbow and may prevent the feeling of your fingers falling asleep.
- You may not drive a car without your surgeon’s approval. The decision to resume driving your car is usually made by your surgeon around 6 weeks postoperatively.
- Most patients find it more comfortable to sleep in a recliner for the first 2-4 weeks after surgery. You may also try sleeping in your own bed with several pillows to help elevate your chest and prevent strain and pain on your shoulder.
Your sling should be worn while you sleep to prevent you from twisting and injuring arm at night.
Average Recovery Time
- First 6 Weeks: Immobilizer in place; frequent soreness, stiffness and pain; therapy at 3-4 weeks
- 3 Months: Soreness/Stiffness begin to resolve and motion improves; transition to home therapy
- 6-9 Months: Optimum; continued improved motion and strength till 12-18 months postop
The goal of your surgery is a shoulder that will allow you good motion and the ability to do your everyday activities without pain. This shoulder is NOT INDESTRUCTIBLE. Avoid lifting anything overhead greater than 20-30 pounds. General conditioning of the shoulder is recommended and can include:
- Bicep Curls and Tricep Extensions
- Nautilus type chest presses (free weight bench press should be avoided)
Preventing infection is extremely important for the rest of your life. Your new joint is artificial and does not have your body’s natural protection against infection. Bacteria from a variety of sources can enter your bloodstream and invade the area surrounding your new joint. This can eventually cause it to become loose and painful. A list of possible sources of infection follows, along with things you can do to minimize the risk to your new joint.
- Dental Work: Cleaning, drilling, extraction, root canal. Take antibiotics as prescribed prior to dental work
- Urinary Tract or Bladder Infection: Symptoms: Pain, burning, fever, blood in the urine, increased need to urinate. See your internist immediately
- Infection in the ears, throat, vagina, etc. Symptoms: Pain, fever, redness or drainage. See your internist immediately
- Any invasive procedure, for example, proctoscope, cystoscope, colonoscopy: Inform your doctor that you have an artificial joint and need to be given antibiotics to protect it during these tests.
Contact 317-208-3866 for questions or concerns; Otherwise follow-up as scheduled in approximately 2 weeks postoperatively.