• After your shoulder surgery you will play a major role in your recovery
  • You will be discharged in a sling which must be worn for the first 6 weeks
  • You must also sleep in your sling at night
  • The sling should be removed only for showering or when you are doing your exercises
  • Follow the instructions on the exercise sheet as these will prevent re-injury to your shoulder and speed recovery
  • Do not attempt to lift your arm under its own power


  • If you have had an arm block this will typically wear off during the first night so you can expect pain to increase after this
  • Take the pain medication you have been prescribed as directed
  • Try ice packs on the shoulder for 20 minutes at a time every 4-6 hours, particularly following your exercises
  • Expect to feel discomfort in the first few weeks following surgery

Wound Care

  • Before you leave the hospital your dressings will be changed to waterproof bandaids. These can be left alone until your first post-operative visit with me
  • You will be able to shower the day following surgery. Allow water to run over the waterproof dressings but do not use soap or soak the shoulder in a bath. Pat dry
  • It is common to get swelling and bruising about the shoulder that can extend into the forearm and hand. This can persist for some time

Call your Doctor if you experience any of the following

  • Increasing severe pain
  • Increasing significant swelling
  • Wound drainage, redness or bleeding (a small amount of bleeding is expected)
  • Fever
  • Numbness or tingling in the arm that persists after the nerve block has worn off


  • I will see you approximately 7 to 10 days following your surgery. Please call Sue on 520 9631 if you are unsure of your appointment time
  • You cannot drive until your arm is out of the sling. You can expect to return to sedentary work 4 to 6 weeks after surgery if pain is tolerable. You may require at least 3 months off work for more active jobs, and up to 6 months for heavy physical work
  • Return to contact sport is usually delayed for 6 months