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Knee & Shoulder Doctor

Post-Operative Instructions for Shou​​lder Surgery

Anup Shah, M.D.​

You have just had an arthroscopic shoulder procedure. Even though your incisions (puncture sites) are small and should heal quickly, the structures inside your SHOULDER will take 6 to 8 Weeks to heal and settle down. If you use the shoulder too much during this healing period, the result of the operation may not be as good as it could be.
  1. Shoulder Ultrasling: Place a towel on your shoulder and then position ice to reduce swelling for the first 72 hours (you can use a bag of frozen vegetables, ie. peas or corn, instead of a bag of ice). Wear your Ultrasling for six weeks to help protect your shoulder unless directed.

  2. Dressings: The bandages on your shoulder are bulky so they can absorb any drainage that may come from your incision points. We will change your dressings at your first post-operative visit and cover the incisions. Usually you will have internal stitches in each incision with tape over the incisions. Leave the tape on the incisions; it will come off on its own.

  3. Showering: Keep the incisions dry for the first 7 days. You may start showering after your first post-op appointment with a plastic wrap covering the incision site. After 7 days you may shower without covering the incision, however please DO NOT soak the incisions.

  4. Medication: You may be given up to four or more different medications (i.e., sleep, antibiotics, pain, swelling and possibly nausea). You will be instructed how and when to take these medications. Be sure to take your first dose of pain medication as soon as you are released from Ambulatory Surgery Center to help reduce postoperative pain. You may also want to take your medication before your exercises once you start. Refills will be given as needed. Call if there are any adverse reactions to your medications.

  5. Activity: Please keep your brace on at all times until your first post- operative visit. You will be given instructions at that time. We encourage you to move your elbow* and use your wrist and hand. We recommend flexing and extending your elbow*, making and opening a fist, squeezing a ball, and flexing and extending your wrist to help prevent blood clots and stiffness. *if you have a bicep tenodesis this activity will be restricted.

  6. Exercising: You will be given exercises at your first follow-up visit and advance from there.

  7. Office Follow-ups: You will return to the office within 3 to 5 days after surgery for a post-operative exam. You should call the office at 713-442-0000 prior to discharge from the Ambulatory Surgery Center to schedule an appointment if not already arranged.

  8. Please call the office 713-442-0000 for the following reasons:
    • ​A temperature above 101 degrees after the first 2 days (A temperature within the first 2 days of surgery may not be unusual).
    • Marked redness or continued swelling around the shoulder.
    • Excessive swelling of the calf, toes and/or foot. Call the office if swelling continues.
    • Excessive draining or bleeding from the incisions (A clear to pink discharge is normal for a few days).
    • Excessive pain not relieved by pain medication.


For questions or concerns that were not answered, please call our office at 713-442-0000 during office hours or 713-442-4850 after hours. We will be glad to answer any questions that have not been covered. Call your pharmacy for prescription refills the day before you run out of medicine. Give the pharmacy the Kelsey-Seybold prescription refill number at 713-442-0272 if necessary

Thank you for choosing Kelsey-Seybold.

Anup Shah, M.D. ​​

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