What to Remember While Recovering From Rotator Cuff Surgery

By Tom Nicholson

Despite most rotator cuff injuries can be helped with non-surgical solutions, your physician may advise rotator cuff surgery to fix the tears that are in the shoulder. Certainly, the kind of surgery you have will depend on several things. No matter what kind of surgery you have, the steps to rotator cuff surgery recovery are much the same.

Day of the Operation

With the majority of these procedures, you will not have to stay in hospital overnight, as this is an outpatient surgery. Nevertheless, you must stay in the hospital until your shoulder pain can be handled with home medications. You will also wear a protective sling so your shoulder and arm muscles can rest and therefore speed the healing along faster.

Some tips to speed up rotator cuff surgery recovery during the first few days after the operation, which are very important in the later phases, include:

* Keep your pain under control by taking your pain medications as soon as you feel shoulder discomfort.

-Ask your doctor for guidance and find the right combination of pain and anti inflammation medicines.

* Place an ice bag over your shoulder so as to lessen the pain and speed up healing.

* When sleeping, sleep in a semi-seated position with your elbows pointing down.

Stages of Recovery

You should know that the stages of rotator cuff surgery recovery would depend on the situation of each patient when it comes to getting from one stage to the other. That is why it is best to adhere to your personalized rehabilitation program.

The first part of your recovery will go on for about 6 weeks, where you will be asked to only do passive motions. What this means is that you must avoid any kind of work or stress on the rotator cuff tendons and muscles. For this part of the recovery, your physical therapist will do two things. He will move your injured shoulder for you and second he will give you instructions on the best way to move your shoulders with as little as possible muscle contractions.

On the second phase, you can move your arm on your own although you should never move it against resistance of any kind. This is called the active motion phase and can last up to 12 weeks from the time of surgery.

For the third phase, also called the strengthening period, you will focus on doing isolation exercises to provide strength to muscles that have been rendered weak due to inactivity. This is the most important phase in rotator cuff surgery recovery since full muscle function can be returned once this step is successfully done.

When you reach the fourth part of recovery, you will be able to go back and do all the regular activities you do with your shoulders. Definitely, some things will affect this part of your recovery that can go on for about 6 months after you surgery and you will still have to talk to your doctor about going back to regular physical activities involving your shoulder.

In the end, the effort you put into your recovery, the size and location of the rotator cuff tear and your overall health will decide how well and swiftly you will go through rotator cuff surgery recovery. - 30540

About the Author:

Sign Up for our Free Newsletter

Enter email address here