• 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 4 to 6 weeks
  • You must also sleep in your sling at night
  • The sling should be removed only for showering or when doing your exercises
  • Follow the instructions on the exercise sheet as these will prevent re-injury to your shoulder and speed recovery
  • If you have had a bone graft from your hip walking is permitted as comfortable


  • 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, including at night.
  • If you have had a bone graft then this wound is often more painful initially

Wound Care

  • Before you leave the hospital your dressings will be changed to waterproof dressings. 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
  • Swelling and bruising is also expected if you have had a bone graft

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 waist level work 6 weeks after surgery if pain is tolerable. You may require at least 3 months off work for more active jobs, and up to 4-6 months for heavy physical work
  • Return to contact sport is usually delayed for 6 months