How long does it take to recover after shoulder arthroscopy?
Recovery and rehabilitation may be quicker for those treated with minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures. It is important however, to remember that bones, ligaments and tendons take time to heal, whether they are repaired with an open procedure, or arthroscopically. During the recovery and rehabilitation phases, it is important not to reinjure the healing shoulder. It is critical during the healing process to follow the instructions given by Dr. Boykin and his team and the patient specific physical therapy program. Patients recovering from shoulder arthroscopy can expect the following:
- If a nerve block was done prior to the arthroscopic surgery, the anesthetic may keep the arm and shoulder numb for 18-36 hours.
- Pain immediately following surgery is normal. Patients are encouraged to take the prescribed medications as directed, especially in the first two to three days.
- Ice packs or ice machines (available through the office or online) are important and should be used for the first 48 hours following arthroscopic surgery. Patients often find pain relief and continue to use ice for several weeks after surgery.
- Rehabilitation protocols, directly following surgery, must be adhered to for the best possible outcome.
- Swelling, bruising, pain and discomfort are normal in the week following an arthroscopic procedure.
- Time off work will depend on the procedure and duties required for a specific job.
Rehabilitation and physical therapy are key to the success of shoulder arthroscopy. Dr. Robert Boykin will make recommendations about the timing of shoulder and arm exercises, and when to return to normal activities.