Your Care after Shoulder Arthroscopy - Dr. Scerpella Pediatric Patients
A date will be set for you to be seen in clinic for your work up before surgery. At the work up you will meet with the physician assistant or nurse practitioner, and your doctor.
You will be given a sling and ice unit during your work up. Bring the sling and all parts of the ice unit with you the day of the surgery.
For your surgery you will have a general anesthesia. You may also have a nerve block as part of your anesthetic. The nerve block will make your shoulder and arm feel numb. This feeling may last for several hours after surgery. The pain will be less while the nerve block is working. Remember to take your pain medicine during the night after surgery, so when the feeling returns you will have less pain. If you have numbness or tingling that becomes worse after the block has worn off, call your doctor.
Dressing Care after Surgery
- You will need to change your shoulder dressing after 2 days.
- Remove ice unit pad and dressing, to check the surgery sites for signs of infection.
- You may shower after 3 days when the dressing is removed. Put waterproof band-aids over the incisions.
- Put dry band-aids over incisions after your shower.
- No swimming, hot tub, or any type of water sports for three weeks unless you are told it is ok.
- You should arrange for physical therapy to start after your surgery. Talk with the physician assistant or nurse practitioner and your doctor about when to start. Arrange for your first PT visit the same day or shortly after your follow-up visit with Dr. Scerpella.
- You will be seen in the clinic in 4 – 10 days. At this time your stitches will be taken out.
Use the ice unit to help with swelling and pain. The ice unit can be run continuously through the first night after surgery. If you get too cold you may turn the unit off for a few hours. The day after surgery you will use the ice unit one hour on and one hour off as needed. You can use the ice unit as often as you need the first 1-2 weeks. It will help with pain. The ice unit will also help with pain after you have physical therapy.
Activity after Surgery
You need to rest as much as you can when you go home. This will help to make the swelling and pain less.
You may begin these exercises right away. They may include
- Hand grip exercises
- Gentle elbow range of motion
- Shoulder shrugs and neck circles
How long you will wear the sling will depend on what type of surgery you have. Wear the sling full-time. Remove it only to bathe. Keep your arm at your side when bathing. Stay in the sling as you are told. Do not drive while you are in the sling or on pain medicines.
When to Call the Doctor or Clinic
- You have bleeding that does not stop by direct pressure.
- Your fingers become pale, blue, or cool to touch
Signs of infection
- Your incision becomes red or warm to the touch or has foul smelling drainage.
- Increased pain at the incision sites.
- You have a fever over 100.5°F for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart.
Please call if you have any questions or problems.
Sports Medicine Clinic - (608) 263-8850 Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Orthopedic Clinic – (608)263-7540 Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5 pm
After hours, the clinic phone numbers will be answered by the paging operator. Ask for the Orthopedic Resident on call. Please give the operator your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call back.
If you live out of the area, please call: 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 02/16/2011
Copyright © 02/16/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7153
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