What Should You Expect?
Surgery is a stressful experience for many people, but knowing what to expect can alleviate some of that worry.
Here are the necessary steps to know.
How Can You Manage Any Postoperative Pain and Discomfort?
Pain management is one of patients' most significant concerns following surgery. Anesthesia and a nerve block will help with pain the day of the surgery, but once you go home, you will be responsible for managing your pain. Your care team will help prepare you to return home to begin your recovery process. Here are some things you can do to stay comfortable after surgery.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From Rotator Cuff Surgery?
Recovery happens in a few different stages. The first step is managing your postoperative pain. Although your arm will likely be immobilized in a sling for four to six weeks after the surgery, you can return to most of your normal activities within a few days of surgery. You will be able to drive and walk, but remember you will be doing these things with one arm. During your recovery period, you will work with your physical therapist to regain motion and strengthen the area. The rotator cuff surgery recovery timeline can vary case by case, but a full recovery typically takes four to six months. It may take longer than that to return to heavy lifting. Talk to your doctor and physical therapist before resuming any workout routines or going back to a job that will put significant strain on your shoulder.
What Should You Expect From Postoperative Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a big part of postoperative rotator cuff treatment. Your physical therapist will start by introducing passive motion to the shoulder. He or she will carefully move your arm for you to ensure the recovering muscles and tendons are not under excessive strain. When you are ready, your physical therapy will progress to active motion, which means your therapist will instruct you how to move your arm. Finally, you will begin to work on strengthening the shoulder with resistance exercises. While you will have regularly scheduled physical therapy appointments, your therapist will likely give you daily at-home exercises to do. Rotator cuff tear rehab will usually last at least a few months after the surgery.
How Can You Help Prevent Future Rotator Cuff Injuries?
Once you reach full recovery, you will probably want to put the injury out of your mind and move forward with your life. While it is wonderful you can get back to the activities you love, you will want to take precautions to prevent re-injury of the rotator cuff.
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