Arthroscopic Repair Of And Recovery From Shoulder Surgery

You're scheduled to go into the outpatient clinic to have a torn rotator cuff repaired. It only took a split-second to tear the ligament in your shoulder, but it will take several weeks for it to heal back to normal. Luckily, the orthopedics specialists have recommended arthroscopy for the repair, which will allow for some faster healing. Here is what you can expect from the actual surgery and subsequent recovery at home.

No Hospital Required

The arthroscopic surgery will take place in the doctor's office or an outpatient clinic. You won't need to spend time in a hospital for the shoulder repair.

The procedure will be done using a local anesthetic on your shoulder so you'll feel no pain. You may also be sedated slightly so you'll be comfortable and less anxious during the procedure.

The surgeon will make two small incisions over your shoulder joint. Into one incision, they will guide a tube with a camera on the end. The doctor uses this camera to see inside of your shoulder joint while doing the repair. A second tube containing surgical instruments is placed in the other incision.

The surgeon guides the camera and instruments to the torn ligament and repairs the damage. A major advantage of arthroscopic surgery over traditional shoulder surgery is that fewer soft tissues in the shoulder are damaged during the surgery. This means less tissue healing is required, which helps you get full functionality of your shoulder back sooner.

When the surgery is completed, the tubes are removed and small bandages are placed over the incisions. You'll be sent to a recovery area to sit until the anesthetic wears off. When the surgeon is satisfied that you aren't having any adverse effects from the surgery, you'll go home.

Recovering from Shoulder Surgery

You'll be sent home with your arm in a special sling that keeps your shoulder and arm against your body. This places the shoulder in a neutral position, which is best for healing. You'll need to keep the sling on all of time, except for when you bathe. The repaired ligaments are slow to heal and, for several weeks, you are at risk of re-injuring your shoulder if you put too much stress on the rotator cuff.

After a few days, you'll visit the surgeon for a followup visit. If the doctor is happy with the healing progress, they will have you begin physical therapy. You'll start a two-part physical therapy program. Each phase will take several weeks to get your shoulder back into shape.

Range of motion phase - The muscles in and around your shoulder will have contracted due to lack of use while the tissues heal. The first step in physical therapy is to slowly move your shoulder around to stretch out the muscles to their original length. The therapist will begin by moving your shoulder through its normal range of motion. They will then show you how to do this with your other hand. The therapist will measure the amount of movement you've gained at each session. When your shoulder is close to achieving its natural range of movement, you'll begin strengthening the muscles.

Strength training - The physical therapist will now have you work with resistance machines and do exercises to strengthen the muscles in your shoulder. The muscles not only move your shoulder, but they prevent injury to the ligaments and other soft tissues in the shoulder joint. You'll undergo several weeks of muscle strengthening to get back normal functionality of your shoulder. If you are active in sports or other rigorous physical activity, you'll spend additional time strengthening the shoulder muscles.

For more information, contact Northern Care Inc Prosthetics & Orthotics or a similar company.