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Timeline After Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery

Rotator Cuff Repair is surgery which many people speculate about. It seems complicated. We aim to clear your doubts in this article. We present before you a timeline of the arthroscopy surgery.

On the day of the surgery 

Turn up for your appointment at least 30 minutes earlier so that you can complete the paperwork. You will be free of any worries this way. The nurse will clean your shoulders and the anesthesiologist will administer the anesthesia. The surgery by the ortho doctor will last for a maximum of 1 hour. Your stay  in the recovery room will be for an hour. After the discharge, you will need the services of a driver as your arm will be in a sling for the following 6 weeks.

3 weeks following the surgery 

For this period, you will be in the sling most of the time. You will be required to take pain medications for at least 3-7 days. You can try stretching your elbow and letting your arm dangle to the side. You can also try exercises like a pendulum and rocking the baby, which constitute the passive ROM.

3 weeks to 6 weeks

In this stage, you are in the sling but undergoing therapy should be taken up. Start taking up assisted ROM along with passive ROM. The therapy should not be painful but it might be uncomfortable. You will be restricted from lifting your arm at this stage.

6 weeks to 12 weeks

One major development in this stage will be that you will be getting freedom from the sling. You will be able to start with Assisted ROM at a higher level and light active ROM too! It is time to start with your daily activities which do not require much stress. Refrain from lifting anything heavier than 3lbs above the shoulder height as it might be detrimental to your healing repair process (which is not over yet). After the twelfth week, you should be able to have complete active ROM. You can also graduate to strengthening exercises without experiencing any pain. Slight pain might be felt during this stage.

12 weeks to 6 months 

The tendon should be healed at this stage if everything goes well. As you have low chances of straining the tendons, you can start some strengthening exercises. You will be recommended to undertake exercises which will strengthen the muscles around the rotator cuff. It will also lead to the strengthening of muscles which were not directly operated upon. The sportspersons who engage in overhead activities can restart them when 5-6 months have passed after the surgery.

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