Dr. Peatman's Rotator Cuff Repair Post-Op

What to expect following your Rotator Cuff Repair:
  1. Upon discharge from the surgery center you will have a dressing, maybe a cryocuff ice wrap, and a shoulder immobilizer or sling on your arm. You will be given prescriptions for pain medication. Leave the dressing intact until post-op day #2, at which time you may remove and replace with a new, dry dressing. Do not apply any ointments or lotions to the wounds.
  2. Apply the cryocuff ice packs to the shoulder as often as possible for pain relief. It may be helpful to sleep propped up on pillows.
  3. Keep the wound dry for the first 2 days, then you may shower –– but do not soak the wound.
  4. Keep the brace or sling in place at all times, including sleeping. It may be removed for exercise only, as directed by your doctor or therapist. You may continue the use of your sling except for exercise for the first 4-6 weeks post-op.
  5. You may begin gentle pendulum exercises immediately post-op but should be extremely careful to avoid any active range of motion of the shoulder, sudden movements, or lifting with the affected arm. Begin wrist and hand range of motion immediately.
  6. You should be seen for your initial post-op visit in the office within 7-10 days after surgery. If you develop any signs of infection, call the office.
  7. You should begin supervised physical therapy as soon as possible following surgery. Pre-operative approval from your insurance company for therapy beginning after your surgery is advised.
  8. The therapists will guide you through a rehab program to include the following:

    Weeks 1–2:
    Focus will be on edema control, pain control, passive range of motion.

    Weeks 2–4:
    Active assisted range of motion, and progressive passive range of motion, rotator cuff isometrics, early isotonic strengthening and motion.

    Weeks 5–6:
    Active range of motion, progressive passive range of motion, and rotator cuff isometrics, early isotonic strengthening with arm at the side.

    Weeks 7–10:
    Progressive strengthening and motion.

    Weeks 10–14:
    Return to light functional activity, lifting <5lbs.

    Months 4–6:
    Specific return to activity training.

    **Avoid lifting, supporting body weight, sudden jerking movements and overhead or behind the back activity for a minimum of 6 weeks until directed by your therapist or doctor.**

  9. Return to work and sports activity varies depending on the activity. Throwing sports or overhead lifting may require more time before return.
Dr. Thomas Peatman
Webster Orthopedics | 80 Grand Avenue #400 | Oakland, CA 94610
Clinic Phone: 510-238-1200 | Appointments: 800-943-8099

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