Shoulder Surgery


  • You may remove the Operative Dressing on Post-Op Day #2. You may notice a yellow piece of mesh covering your incisions. You may remove it if it is loose. If it seems stuck then it will loosen up on its own over the next couple of days and you may remove it then.
  • If there are white steri-strips covering any of the incisions leave these in place. If no white strips are present, you may leave the incisions open to the air. If the stitches rub on your clothing you may cover them with a band-aide.
  • Use Ice as often as possible for the first 3-4 days, then as needed for pain relief. Do not place the ice bag directly on your skin-place a towel or sheet under it.
  • You may shower but keep the surgical wounds dry. Please cover the dressing or wounds with plastic wrap and secure it to your skin with tape. Do not get the sutures wet. After you shower remove the plastic wrap and pat the incisions dry. You may remove the sling for showering.


  • You may remove the sling for your therapy exercises and showering. To shower let your arm rest at your side or you may keep it held across your belly.  It is safe to lean forward to allow cleaning under your arm.
  • Several times per day bend your wrist back and forth to maintain flexibility. You should exercise your hand by squeezing a tennis ball or rubber ball.
  • Many people have difficulty sleeping after shoulder surgery.  If you have difficulty try sleeping in a recliner or propped up on pillows in a semi-reclining position.  Also place a pillow under your elbow for support. 


  • Prescriptions have been provided for you to use post-operatively:
    • An anti-inflammatory medication (ie: Naprosyn, Celebrex, Mobic). Take the anti-inflammatory medicine as prescribed with food. ** IF YOU HAVE AN ULCER HISTORY OR DIFFICULTY USING ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES OR ASPIRIN >> USE ONLY THE NARCOTIC THAT HAS BEEN PRESCRIBED
    • A Narcotic (Norco, Percocet, Oxycodone) is to be used on an “as needed” basis for pain in addition to the anti-inflammatory. Avoid taking this medication on an empty stomach. In general you should try to wean down and transition off the narcotic as soon as the pain allows. The goal is not complete elimination of pain but keeping it moderately well managed. Once tylenol and the anti-inflammatory are managing your pain you should discontinue the narcotic.
    • An anti-nausea medication (Phenergan, Zofran). Narcotic pain medications can sometimes cause nausea and you may use this prescription on an as needed basis.
  • If you develop a Fever (101.5), Redness or Drainage from the surgical incision site, please call our office to arrange for an evaluation.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages or take illicit drugs when taking pain medications.
  • Do not drive a car or operate heavy machinery when taking pain medications.
  • Pain medication may make you constipated. Below are a few solutions to try in this order:
    • Decrease the amount of pain medication if you aren't having pain.
    • Get up and walk around several times per day
    • Drink lots of decaffeinated fluids
    • Drink prune juice and/or each dried prunes
    • Take Colace or Senokot - over-the-counter stool softners


  • If not already arranged, please call the office to set up your follow-up appointment in 10-14 days.

You will need the Adobe Reader to view and print these documents. Get Adobe Reader