Shoulder surgery recovery is no easy matter. I know this because I’ve had three of them. After playing collegiate volleyball, both of my shoulders needed labral repairs, and more recently, my left shoulder needed a revision repair. Lucky for me, I had a great care team. Dr. Van den Berghe and his crew made my recovery go smoothly.
different types of shoulder surgeries
There are multiple repairs and reconstructions that we perform during shoulder surgery: labral repairs, rotator cuff repairs, total shoulder arthroplasties and capsule plications, just to name a few. All of these shoulder surgeries will have different post-op restrictions and physical therapy protocols.
I’m going to give you a few general tips and tricks that will help in all cases of shoulder surgery recovery.
Tips for Shoulder Surgery Recovery in Kansas City
- If you’re a lady, go ahead and invest in a few bandeau bras. I got a pack from Amazon prior to surgery. Being able to slide these up is much easier than trying to clasp anything or wrestle a sports bra over your head one-handed.
- Grab some oversized t-shirts or button-up shirts to wear for the first few weeks post-operatively. That’s because getting fitted shirts on and off is much harder than you’d think. Button-up shirts will allow you to easily slide your operative arm in without much pain. Oversized t-shirts are also relatively easy to get on and off and can still be styled to look cute or professional.
- Buttoning pants is no easy task in a sling; make sure you have some jeans or leggings with elastic waist bands.
- Find an old tie to use as a makeshift sling in the shower. Tie it around your neck to support your operative arm/shoulder.
- For the first few days after your shoulder surgery, it is much easier to sleep sitting up, so have a makeshift bed on your couch ready with supportive pillows.
- The polar care ice machine is your friend. Use it frequently.
- Even though you’re in a sling, you can still be active. I found going on walks, doing the elliptical and other cardio activities post-operatively helped me to feel better. Ask your doctor when you yourself would be clear to start in on physical activities.
- If given the choice, get a nerve block prior to surgery. It helps so much with pain control during shoulder surgery recovery.
Need additional input on your post-operative care in Kansas City?
KCOA is considered by many to be the experts in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine in Kansas City. Reach out to your doctor at KCOA today for more insight on your post-operative care.
By: Caitlin Dotson