6850 W. Centennial Drive, Tinley Park, IL 60477
Phone (708) 429-3455 /  Fax (708) 429-3422

Specialties: Shoulder Arthroscopy Post-Operative Exercises

Apply an ice pack to your shoulder for the next 24-48 hours. You can use a commercially available ice pack, or a bag of frozen peas or corn works just as well — just cover with a towel. Use for 15 minutes at a time, 3 times a day.

A soft bandage has been placed on your shoulder in order to soak up any blood or fluid. You may take the bandage off in 2 days and place clean band- aids over the 2 or 3 small wounds on your shoulder. Bruising may appear on your arm or chest over the next few days — this is normal.

It is safe to shower or bathe 72 hours after surgery. You may wash the incisions with regular soap and water, dry them, and recover with new band-aids. You should not, however, soak your shoulder under water for at least one week after surgery. Activities such as soaking your shoulder in hot tube or swimming pool should not be attempted for at 2 weeks.

Low-grade fevers (less than) are common after surgery. These fevers should go away a few days after°101 surgery as you start to move around more. If your fever persists for more than a few days, or your wounds have a large area of redness around them (more than the size of a quarter), contact my office.

For the first 48 hours after surgery, inhale deeply and hold your breath for 3 seconds, then exhale completely. Repeat 10 times, 4 times daily. If you smoke, avoid cigarettes for 48 hours after surgery. This might be a good time to consider stopping smoking altogether!

Any prescriptions you are given after surgery should be filled immediately and taken according to the directions on the label. The pain medications given to you can frequently cause: constipation, fatigue, nausea, and itching. For these reasons, we recommend that you try to switch to an anti-inflammatory medicine ("NSAID") and Tylenol for pain relief as soon as possible. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, generic) and naproxen (Aleve) — take only one type of these with meals, and only if you have been able to tolerate them in the past and do not have stomach or kidney problems.


You will be given instructions regarding exercises. You may also be given a prescription for physical therapy to begin in the first week after surgery. It is important to move the shoulder as instructed.

The sling may be discontinued as soon as you feel comfortable to do so. Pain should be your guide to the amount of activity. If a motion is painful, do not try to work your way through the pain. If an activity is not painful, go ahead and use your shoulder as naturally as possible. In any event, you should not use the sling for more than 48 hours.

You will be instructed at your first physical therapy visit on a home stretching program to be performed 3 to 6 times per day. You will also be given a rehab kit to assist you in your progression from stretching to strengthening.

If we repair your rotator cuff, we are balancing two factors:

  1. We want your body to allow the cuff muscles to heal. That requires a certain amount of rest.
  2. We don’t want your shoulder to become stiff. That requires a certain amount of motion.

There are two types of motion:

  1. Active: Use your own muscles to move your shoulder.
  2. Passive: Use another person, gravity, your other arm, to move your shoulder.

Passive exercise does not stress the rotator cuff repair and allows you to move your shoulder so it will not get stiff. Therefore, passive motion is the only kind of motion allowed immediately following your cuff repair, until I tell you otherwise. Do these exercises daily, until you see me in the office.

Your arm will be placed in a sling in the operating room, and it is recommended that you use the sling for the first day after surgery. Once you have begun your physical therapy, you can discard the sling and use your arm at the side for light normal activities, such as washing your face, cutting your food, reading a book, etc. You should not attempt to reach out in front of you, to reach overhead, or to push yourself up with your operative arm. However, you are encouraged to use your arm for light normal activities at the side. This will decrease the swelling in your arm and make your rehabilitation easier.

Please call the office during office hours to make your first follow-up visit, which should be 7 to 10 days after surgery, unless you are instructed otherwise.

Post-Operative Shoulder Exercises: Pendulum, Circular

Bend forward 90 degrees at the waist, using a table for support. Rock body in a circular pattern to move arm clockwise 10 times, then counterclockwise 10 times. Do 3 sessions a day.

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Last Modified: April 20, 2018