DePuy Synthes

Shoulder Arthroscopy Recovery and Rehabilitation

DePuy Synthes

Shoulder Arthroscopy Recovery and Rehabilitation

Get back to life through recovery & rehabilitation.

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What to Expect

Recovering from shoulder arthroscopy is usually a lot easier than traditional open surgery. You usually experience less trauma to the tissue, less pain and a quicker recovery.

Following arthroscopy surgery, you may be drowsy from any general anesthesia or numb from any regional or local anesthesia. Your health care team will provide you instructions on how to care for your small incisions.

Early on, patients will experience some swelling and discomfort in the shoulder. This may last for a few days after the surgery. A prescription for pain medication and an anti-inflammatory drug to help alleviate these symptoms may be given. Contact your doctor if you have any unusual swelling or redness, if the area feels warm or if you injure your shoulder in any way.

In most cases, physical therapy is required. Your surgeon and physical therapist will determine the most appropriate rehabilitation program.


Post-Surgical Care

It’s important to know what you can expect after your surgery is over and you head home. Follow the care plan your doctor prepares for you. Make sure you understand everything you’re expected to do in order to help ensure your rehabilitation goes smoothly.

Once your surgery is complete, you will stay in the recovery room up to 2 hours. When you are released, you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you the first night. You should expect discomfort for at least the first week. Ice will help relieve any pain, and you may receive a prescription for pain medicine from your doctor.

You may also feel pain lying on your back. Consider sleeping in a recliner or propped up in bed for the first few days. More than likely, your doctor will have you wear a sling or immobilizer. He or she will discuss how long you will need to wear it.

Your doctor will provide you with an exercise plan to help you regain strength, motion and flexibility. You may be required to attend physical therapy sessions.


Possible Complications

Most patients do not experience complications from shoulder arthroscopy; however there are risks with any surgery. There could be infection, excessive bleeding, blood clots and damaged vessels or nerves. Your physician will advise you on potential risks and complications.




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As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell if shoulder arthroscopy is right for you.

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