Post-Op Care

Following a shoulder stabilizing procedure, you will be managed in a sling with an abduction pad to help immobilize your shoulder in a neutral position. Sling immobilization is prescribed for 5-6 weeks postoperatively ( Image 1 )

Image 1
  • Showering okay after 48 hours following an arthroscopic procedure and 72 hours after an open procedure
  • Pain medications may be needed for 1-3 weeks after surgery. Do not mix alcohol with pain medications.
  • Use of ice/cold packs can help minimize pain
  • Physical Therapy will be prescribed and usually started within 1 week of surgery
  • Use of medications called NSAIDs ( Ibuprofen, Aleve, ) can delay healing of tissue and bone and are usually avoided for 4 weeks after surgery.
  • We do not recommend driving with one hand. If pain is mild and narcotic pain medications are not being used, you may be able to remove your sling immobilizer and drive in the days following surgery
  • We typically recommend taking an Aspirin each day after surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots.
  • A return to full activities depends on the specifics of the surgery, but usually occurs between 6-7 months after surgery.

See Also

In addition to our procedure-specific recommendations for this surgery, be sure to read the following articles from the General Care section of our site: