POST-OPERATIVE GENERAL INFORMATION
Open Shoulder Surgery
(Total Shoulder, Reverse Total Shoulder, Resurfacing, etc.)
- You will go home with your incision dressed with tape. This can stay on until your first follow-up visit. If the dressing does fall off, you can replace it with dry gauze and tape, which can be purchased at your local drug store.
- You should be discharged with an ice pack. This should be placed on the shoulder as much as you can tolerate in the first week. Do not place it directly on your skin. It will help with both pain and swelling.
- You may not get your incision wet until instructed by Dr. Ramirez. Do not place any lotions or creams on the incision.
- We encourage patients to keep a washcloth or towel in your underarm, as it can be difficult to wash in the first few weeks. If you start to develop a rash, please call the office so that we may address this.
- Unless instructed otherwise, please wear your sling and bolster at all times, including when sleeping. Some patients will have their bolster removed while they are still in the hospital, but this is patient dependent.
- If you come out of surgery without the bolster
partof your sling(the large black foam pillow that props up your arm)then
Dr. Ramirez has decided that you do not need to wear it.
You may keep it or dispose of it, but do not wear it at this time.
- You will be given further instructions on any plans for physical therapy on your first post-operative visit. Until then, you should perform only the exercises taught to you in the hospital. These will vary depending on the type and extent of surgery and are decided by Dr. Ramirez after each case. Each patient is different; therefore the amount of therapy is tailored to you on the first day after surgery.
- DO bend and straighten your elbow, wrist and hand a few times daily starting on the first post-operative day (unless you receive explicit instructions against this). This will keep you from getting a stiff elbow. The little red ball on your sling may be used for exercising your fingers.
- If you are having pain despite taking the pain medication, you may try over the counter Extra-Strength Tylenol in addition to your narcotic pain medicine. This can act as an adjuvant medication. Please do not take any NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, Motrin) unless instructed, as this can delay healing.
- Please remember that every patient is different. These are the guidelines that cover the majority of cases, but Dr. Ramirez will tell you any additional specific instructions that he deems appropriate after your operation. Please call with any questions.