Arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery
preparation and recovery
Preparation for Surgery:
- Medical clearance from your Dr. Drake is required for all patients and must be completed at least 2 weeks before and no more than 30 days prior to surgery. If you are scheduled to see your physicianless than 14 days prior to surgery, this may result in your surgery being delayed.
- If you have any underlying cardiac conditions/history, you will also be required to obtain cardiac clearanceprior to surgery.
- We encourage you to have your lab work and EKG done at the hospital prior to seeing your primary carephysician, as many primary care offices are no longer performing blood work or EKG’s in their office.
- Seven days prior to surgery, please do not take any anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications (Celebrex,Ibuprofen, Aleve, Naprosyn, Advil, Aspirin, etc.) as this could result in increased bleeding during surgery. Ifyou are on blood thinners these will also need to be stopped prior to surgery. Timing will need to becoordinated with the prescribing physician and Dr. Drake.
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before surgery. You may take a small sip of water themorning of surgery to take your normal medications. This includes your blood pressure medicine, which ingeneral should be taken. Consult your primary care doctor regarding medication and insulin instructionsprior to surgery.
- Post-operative pain medication will be sent to your pharmacy prior to the date of surgery. We recommendyou pick up your prescriptions at least 2 days before surgery in the event there is a shortage of medicationat your preferred pharmacy.
- There will be a bulky gauze dressing covering the incision which will need to remain in place for 3 days. You should not shower or get your dressing wet during this time. The gauze dressing may be removed on the 3rd day after surgery, and you may begin showering. Do NOT remove the adhesive steri-strips covering the incision. Steri-strips should be left intact on the incision until returning to clinic or for your postoperative follow-up 10-14 days following surgery.
- You may get the steri-strips wet, however do not scrub the area and no bathing or hot tubs.
- You must remain in your sling during the day and night for 6 weeks. The sling may be removed for showering and performing pendulum exercises.
- Narcotic pain medications are prescribed if Tylenol is inadequate (Narcotic pain medications will cause constipation, so be proactive with stool softeners and laxatives).
- Pendulum exercises may begin the day after your surgery and should be performed 5 times per day. In addition to pendulum exercises, you may perform gentle elbow flexion/extension and finger/wrist range of motion. (Refer to pendulum exercise link)
- Physical therapy will begin 2-6 weeks post operatively depending on the size of your tear.
- You may drive as soon as it is comfortable to do so, which is usually after about two weeks following discharge from the hospital. You SHOULD NOT DRIVE while under the influence of pain medications. You may remove your sling to drive; however your surgical arm should remain at the bottom of the steering wheel.
- Do not take NSAID medications (Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, etc.) or Cox-2 inhibitors (i.e. Celebrex) for 3 monthsfollowing surgery unless approved by Dr. Drake.
- We will not refill pain medications over the weekend or after hours. Anticipate the need for medication refills.
- Call Level Up Shoulder (847-690-1776) or text (847-750-5255) to schedule your routine postsurgical visit for 10-14 days after surgery with Dr. Drake’s physician assistant, Steve.
- Patients will be seen by Steve (Dr. Drake’s PA) for the first two visits after surgery at 2 and 6 weeks. Dr. Drake will see patients at the 3 month postoperative appointment.
- Please call your Dr. Drake’s staff at Level Up Shoulder or your physician’s office immediately with any problems or go to the emergency room if you develop:
- Drainage and increased pain at the incision site
- Fever greater than 101.5 degrees F
- Swelling and tenderness in your legs, as this could be indicative of a blood clot
Precautions for Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repairs:
- Surgery to week 2: Remain in your sling and allow the shoulder to rest and heal. There is to be no active use of the shoulder. You may initiate pendulum exercises the day after surgery. Pendulum should be performed 5 times per day to avoid developing a frozen shoulder.
- Post op week 2-6: Remain in your sling. There is still no active use of the arm. Physical therapy will begin for passive range of motion (PROM), meaning your therapist will move your arm for you.
- Post op week 6-12: At 6 weeks following surgery you may discontinue the use of your sling; however, you are to continue to avoid active use of your arm for an additional 6 weeks. Physical therapy will continue to advance your passive range of motion (RPOM) to active assist range of motion.
- Post op week 12-16: You may begin using your arm for active range of motion (AROM) and day to day light activities around the house. Physical therapy will continue with an emphasis on strengthening. You are to continue to avoid heavy lifting until cleared by Dr. Drake.
Goal for Return to Work & Sports:
Patients may return to sport and heavy work activities 6 months post-operatively, depending on the size of the tear and specific job requirements.