Most often, a rotator cuff tear is treated with nonsurgical methods. However, in some situations, surgery is the best treatment. Sometimes surgery is recommended immediately after an injury or in cases where all other nonsurgical treatment options have failed.
Recovery after a rotator cuff surgery is often challenging. The speed and pain involved in recovery will depend upon many factors such as the type of surgical procedure, postoperative complications, performing proper rehabilitation and physical therapy exercises, and more.
Wear shoulder immobilizer or a sling
Keeping your shoulder immobilized after the surgery can speed up the recovery. It plays a vital role in healing your tendon. Using a sling can stabilize and support your arms. It also serves as a good reminder not to move your arm.
Avoid certain shoulder positions and arm movements
It is essential to avoid movements that can interfere with your healing during your recovery period. Actions that can negatively impact your recovery are:
It would be best if you remembered to avoid certain positions while sleeping that put pressure on your shoulders, such as lying flat on your back or the affected side.
Sleeping in an upright position has the benefit of helping you avoid the extra pressure on your shoulder. Using pillows can help you prop you up, or raise the mattress slightly by placing something under it. Wear a sling while you sleep to avoid too much movement. Propping up your arm on pillows can reduce swelling.
Complications are very rare. However, you should notice the signs just in case. If you experience severe fever, redness, or discharge from the incision, sudden and severe pain, numbness, or tingling in your fingers or hand seek immediate medical attention.
Performing Physical therapy exercises with the help of a physiotherapist can improve the stability, range of motion, and strength of your shoulder. Doing exercises at home is crucial to a successful recovery. Using anti-inflammatory medicines also help you complete your physical therapy exercises.
Remember to stay as comfortable as possible and take adequate rest. Applying ice packs can reduce inflammation during the first three to five days after surgery. Later, using heat bags can provide some relief from pain and stiffness.
A discussion with your medical care provider and a physiotherapist can help you to know more about rotator cuff surgery and ways to ensure a fast recovery. If you are experiencing any shoulder related difficulties, book an appointment with the experts of ‘A-One Shoulder and Elbow Centre.’