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Recovering From Shoulder Surgery Part 2

Dr, Donna Restivo

Posted on September 08 2018

In a recent post, we talked about some of the necessary steps to take when recovering from surgery. Today we will talk about what happens at home, following your procedure.

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Home life. Prior to your surgery, you most likely ran your household like a well-oiled machine, but there are several things you need to have ready, so you aren’t struggling once you get back home.  

Since the shoulder is used when reaching things, it is best to move all of your commonly used household items at counter level, so you don’t risk overhead reaching. It’s also beneficial to have a grab bar installed in the shower, to avoid any risk of falling. Unless you live with someone who plans on cooking all of your meals, it’s best to have prepared meals frozen and ready to pop in the oven so you don’t have to deal with cooking and moving around the kitchen. 

We recommend having several bags of frozen veggies on hand, to use for icing the affected shoulder. They can be conveniently stored and they work well when molding to the muscles and joints that need to be iced to decrease pain and inflammation. 

Remember those “college dorm” pillows with the armrests? It’s a good idea to invest in one of those to ensure ultimate support while sleeping or sitting. There are a variety of pillows on the market, and there is no such thing as too much support for your recovering shoulder. Feel free to use pillows to prop yourself up in a variety of different ways.

Sleep. When it comes to recovering from any injury, sleep plays a major role. We all know how rough it can be to not get a full night’s sleep, and it’s even more important to catch quality z’s when your body is recovering. Considering you will be sleeping with a sling on, it might be more comfortable to sleep in a recliner chair for the time being. If you do choose to sleep in a bed, you’ll obviously be sleeping on the unaffected side, with your elbow resting on the side of your body. To enhance your comfort levels, place a folded pillow in front of you, so your recovering shoulder is hugging it. You can also sleep on you back and prop your legs up on a bolster or a couple of pillows, to give your entire body some added support.  

If you’re like most people, there will come a time in your life when you will have to recover from some type of an injury or a surgery. The best thing you can do is be prepared, have a positive attitude going into it, and persist when it comes to exercise and therapy following the surgery.


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