Preparing for a shoulder rotator cuff repair surgery
Before going for surgery, talk to your surgeon about what to expect.
- Tell your doctor about any health condition or allergies you have and all medications you are taking.
- Do not take any unprescribed medication and health supplements unless cleared by your doctor.
- Optimise general health and stop smoking at least a month before surgery.
- Arrange for assistance after the surgery.
- Ensure you have loose fitting clothes that are easy to wear and fasten.
What to expect after a shoulder rotator cuff repair surgery?
After surgery, your shoulder, and perhaps even your arm and hand, will be sore and swollen. You will need to wear a shoulder immobiliser, the duration for which will depend on the type of surgery. After that, a sling will be required for about 6 weeks to support the arm and restrict shoulder movement. During this time, movement of the affected shoulder is limited and activities such as driving, lifting and pulling must be avoided. However, you should continue to use your fingers and hands.
Keep the incision dry and clean and keep an eye out for redness and discharge and tingle or numbness in the arm, hand or fingers. Pain is managed with medication and rest is important for better and faster recovery.
Recovery period for a shoulder rotator cuff repair surgery
After you have recovered from surgery, you would most likely need rehabilitation and physiotherapy to help you regain and improve mobility of the shoulder. Full recovery can take between 4 – 6 months.
Risks associated with a shoulder rotator cuff repair surgery
As with all surgery, there are risks to shoulder rotator cuff repair surgery. These include:
- Allergic reactions to anaesthesia and other medication
- Breathing problems
- Bleeding, blood clots and infection
- Injury to tendons, blood vessels of nerves
- Permanent joint stiffness
- Recurrent tears of the rotator cuff