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8 Tips to Speed Recovery After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Jun 07, 2023
8 Tips to Speed Recovery After Rotator Cuff Surgery
After any type of surgery, you want to recover as quickly as possible. Rotator cuff repair is no exception, so we teed up eight tips to help you bounce back faster.

If you need rotator cuff repair surgery, we have good news. Here at Reconstructive Orthopaedics of Central Florida in Ocala, Florida, Karl Siebuhr, MD, and our team specialize in arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. This means we can perform your procedure through a tiny incision, minimizing complications and your recovery period.

More good news: with specific tools and practices, you can help yourself heal as quickly as possible after surgery, further shortening that recovery window. With that in mind, our team of rotator cuff specialists created a list of eight tips you can use. 

#1: Know what to expect

Rotator cuff repair can take different forms, from the debriding a partial tear needs to surgical tendon reattachment in the case of a full tear. 

Here, Dr. Siebuhr and our team let you know what kind of procedure your shoulder needs and what to expect afterward. That way, you can go in with a clear idea of how to move forward based on your specific surgery type. 

#2: Talk to us about your pain tolerance

Many people can manage any discomfort after a rotator cuff surgery with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If you have a low pain tolerance, though, talk to our team so we can develop the right pain management plan for you. 

#3: Wear your sling

Immediately after surgery, keeping your shoulder immobilized is key. This allows your body to do the healing work without taxing your tendons. 

When you’re sitting or lying down, you can loosen the sling but don’t take it off. That way, you can easily tighten it whenever you need to get up. 

#4: Use the sling properly

Don’t get lazy about properly wearing your sling when you’re moving, even if you’re only walking across the room. The few seconds it costs to tighten it can save you days, if not weeks, of added downtime. 

#5: Get moving

Walk a little bit each day, slowly increasing how much time you spend on your feet. Keeping yourself active can help you avoid complications after surgery.

#6: Follow our instructions

Dr. Siebuhr and our team will give you specific instructions on caring for your incision, rehabilitating your shoulder, and taking medication. We’ll also tell you when and how to shower, when you can start driving again, and more. 

We give you these directions to prevent you from doing something that could set your recovery back, so be diligent in following them. If you’re ever unsure about what to do, ask us before you take action. 

#7: Get your house ready

Before surgery, equip your home with tools to help you as you recover, from a shower chair to healthy food to clothes that are easy to put on and take off. 

#8: Be patient

Fully recovering from rotator cuff repair surgery often takes 3–6 months. That might feel like a long time but try to be patient and put it in perspective. While you’re looking at some downtime, once you get on the other side of recovery, you should enter life with a pain-free, fully mobile, stronger shoulder. 

This list can get you started, but our team can provide you with more comprehensive guidance to set you up for success during recovery. To learn more about rotator cuff repair surgery and what to expect afterward, call our office or request your appointment online today.