After rotator cuff surgery the intention is to be free from rotator cuff pain and have improved mobility and strength in the shoulder. Ideally, the aim is to recover as swiftly as practicable and to resume a normal life.
Take the prescribed pain relief! Torn rotator cuff surgery is painful and requires pain relief. If it upsets your stomach, as it can do, then go back to the doctor and ask for an alternative. The whole point of surgery was to be rid of your pain, so do not suffer.
You will be required wear a sling for around 3 - 4 weeks. Even whilst asleep the sling will help to support the surgical repair.
Immediately after surgery you must start rotator cuff surgery rehab. Strengthening the rotator cuff is the key to recovery.
Find some one to help. Life so much easier if there is support available. Someone who will encourage you and drive you forward.
Resume a normal diet quickly. Stick to simple and fresh for a day or two.Don't rush things. You will not be able to drive for approximately 4 - 6 weeks. Return to work can take longer. Repair of a small tear and a job that requires little of the shoulder could be 4 weeks. For manual, overhead work the absence could be up to 6 months.
The first few days after surgery
Pain after rotator cuff surgery just can not be avoided. There will be a dressing on the wound so avoid a shower for a couple of days. Try to sleep, a supported semi sitting position to be best although I still found it difficult.
Move your wrists and fingers around often and start rehab as soon as you can.
First 6 weeks after surgery
You will be back and forward to the doctors for check up's, dressing changes, suture removal all kinds of stuff. Most importantly try to get into a set routine for the rehab.
Set and reach little milestones
Off the pain relief
Sleeping lying down
Off with the sling
Upping the rehab routines
Whatever it is; celebrate it as another goal achieved.
Weeks 6 - 12 after surgery
Return to work
Reduction in pain
Increase in shoulder mobility
Continuing the post surgery rehab
From 12 weeks after surgery
This is often the toughest period! You have undergone cuff surgery and completed some surgery rehab. Now it is time to seriously begin strengthening the cuff muscles.
Why is this so hard? Because a lot of folks believe they are cured - you are not!!
Please do not make this mistake. The finest technique for getting and staying pain free is by thoroughly strengthening the rotator cuff. Giving up now will have you back at square one - another tear and more surgery.
For most people they will be
Back to work now
Restricted still in overhead work
No contact sports until the six month stage, at the earliest.
The boredom will have passed.
Free of the majority of pain.
Getting back to a normal life.