Shoulder injuries can happen for any number of reasons. Some shoulder injuries, like a torn rotator cuff, commonly occur as a result of playing sports. Other injuries can occur even when you live a sedentary lifestyle; a nerve that gets trapped can cause severe pain, and it might need to be released through surgery. If your doctor believes that shoulder surgery is the best option for you, here are four things you should do to ensure a smooth operation:
1. Get the relevant details
Shoulder surgery can be performed in a variety of different ways. Arthroscopic surgery is used whenever possible since it's less invasive and leads to faster recoveries. A camera is used to provide the visuals needed for the surgery, so your doctor won't need to cut your shoulder open more than absolutely necessary. Your doctor will provide you with basic information and instructions for your surgery. If there's something you don't understand, don't be afraid to ask questions. You deserve to be informed about what will happen to your body during the procedure.
2. Arrive early
On the day of your procedure, make sure you plan to show up at least half an hour early. You may need to fill out some forms before your surgery begins. Surgeons are often on a tight schedule, and they may not be willing to wait if you're several minutes late. Leaving your house early can save you from having to reschedule your surgery due to unforeseen delays like traffic. If possible, you may want to schedule your surgery as early in the day as you can. This can help you avoid rush-hour traffic and keep you more comfortable if you're instructed to abstain from food and drink before your procedure.
3. Pick your prescriptions up from the pharmacy
Your doctor will likely prescribe you medication to take after your shoulder surgery. Typically, these medications will include antibiotics to prevent infection and painkillers to keep you comfortable after the anesthesia wears off. Ask your doctor if they can give you the prescription early. Filling your prescription at the pharmacy ahead of time can give you one less thing to worry about post-operatively.
4. Honor your recovery time
According to OrthoInfo, most people take weeks or months to fully recover after shoulder surgery. Your doctor may instruct you to wear a sling to keep the shoulder joint immobilized during this time so it can heal properly. Honor your body's recovery, and don't try to push yourself too hard. You don't want to accidentally injure yourself, which could require another surgery to repair.