What to Expect After Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery?

by | Mar 14, 2023 | Arthroscopic, Shoulder

Man who's had arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

Are you preparing for or have recently undergone arthroscopic shoulder surgery? It’s crucial to understand what to expect after shoulder surgery, including recovery times, pain management, and steps for a successful healing process. This guide offers detailed insights into the journey of recovery following arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

Understanding Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that utilizes tiny instruments and a small camera to diagnose and treat various shoulder joint conditions. The technique is preferred over traditional open surgery due to smaller incisions, leading to less pain and a quicker recovery period. Common uses include repairing torn rotator cuffs, shoulder ligaments, removing damaged cartilage, and addressing recurrent shoulder dislocations.

The Procedure of Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

During the surgery, you’ll be positioned either in a “beach chair” position or on your side, under anesthesia. The surgical team will clean the area and may use a device to stabilize your arm. A fluid injection may be administered for better joint visibility. The surgeon makes small incisions to insert the arthroscope and tools required for the repair. After completing the surgery, the incisions are stitched, and bandages applied.

Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery Duration

Typically, this outpatient procedure lasts under an hour. After the surgery, you’ll need a brief rest in the hospital before heading home for recovery.

Managing Pain Post-Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

Post-surgery, managing pain is crucial. Most patients return home the same day with prescribed pain medication. If pain persists or the medication seems too strong, consult your surgeon for alternatives or over-the-counter options.

Shoulder Surgery Recovery: What to Expect
Post-surgery, your arm will be in a sling to aid the healing process, typically lasting four to six weeks. While this may hinder some daily activities, it’s vital for proper healing and avoiding complications like stiffness or failed surgery syndrome. Physical therapy plays a key role in this phase, helping regain strength and flexibility.

Time Off Work After Shoulder Surgery

Recovery time varies based on your occupation. Desk jobs might require only a few days off, while physically demanding jobs might need months. Discuss your specific situation with your surgeon for a tailored recovery plan.

Accelerating Recovery from Shoulder Surgery

To expedite recovery, follow your doctor’s instructions meticulously. Wear the prescribed sling, commit to physical therapy, wean off pain medication as advised, avoid certain arm movements, and gradually reintegrate into your routine.

Potential Risks: Overdoing Post-Surgery Activities

Ignoring your surgeon’s advice can jeopardize the success of the surgery. Physical therapy is essential for optimal recovery.

Identifying Failed Shoulder Surgery Symptoms

If you experience ongoing pain, stiffness, or weakness post-surgery, it might indicate failed shoulder surgery syndrome. This can result from complications in healing, excess scar tissue, or infection. Consult your surgeon for appropriate measures like physical therapy, medication, or possibly revision surgery.

The Benefits of Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

Compared to open surgery, arthroscopy typically results in less pain, fewer complications, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery.

Learn More About Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

If you’re considering arthroscopic shoulder surgery or seeking more information, the board-certified shoulder surgeons at Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinics are here to assist. With locations across East Tennessee, including Sevierville, Knoxville, Oak Ridge, and Lenoir City, expert care is readily accessible. Schedule your appointment today to explore your options and embark on a journey towards pain-free shoulder mobility.

We serve patients from Knoxville, TN, Oak Ridge, TN, Lenoir City, TN, and Sevierville, TN.

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