5 Helpful Tips to Prepare for Shoulder Surgery

Apr 04, 2023

5 Helpful Tips to Prepare for Shoulder Surgery

Is shoulder surgery on your horizon? It can be difficult to deal with things on the fly when you’re post-op, so here are some helpful tips to help you prepare for your shoulder surgery and recovery.

The days following shoulder surgery can be difficult, especially if you don’t plan ahead and make accommodations for yourself. From getting dressed to preparing meals, there are many ways to simplify daily tasks for your post-op period.

At Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine (AOSM), with locations in Union City and Dyersburg, Tennessee, Dr. Michael Calfee, Paxton Sisson PA-C, and the rest of our skilled team will prepare you for your shoulder surgery and recovery as fully as possible.  

When shoulder surgery is necessary 

The shoulder is a large, complex joint with many layered, moving parts. The ball-in-socket joint is supported by tendons, cushioned with cartilage, and controlled by muscles. You use this joint almost every minute of every day, even if you aren’t aware of it. Reaching for things, opening cabinets, even brushing your teeth or putting a shirt on can become difficult if your shoulder is injured. 

You might need shoulder surgery for a number of reasons. At AOSM, we treat both acute and overuse injuries, including: 

  • Fractures and dislocations 
  • Shoulder impingement 
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Tendinitis 
  • Labral and SLAP tears
  • Synovitis
  • Bankart lesions 
  • Shoulder separation
  • Shoulder instability 

There are many different types of shoulder surgery, depending on what area of the shoulder is injured. Our surgeons have experience with all kinds of procedures, ranging from decompression and debridement to complete reconstruction and replacement. 

How to prepare for shoulder surgery and recovery

Once you and your surgeon have discussed how to proceed, it’s time to start preparing for the procedure

You will need time off from work to recover, so be sure to schedule your leave ahead of time. If you’re taking drugs that might interfere with surgery, be sure to talk to your doctor about temporarily stopping or switching those medications. 

Beyond this, it’s also important to begin preparing your home for post-op. 

1. Pile up the pillows 

There’s a good chance you’ll be spending most of your recovery in bed or on the couch. If you don’t already have a supply of pillows, consider buying a few more to make sure your resting place is properly cushioned. 

2. Stock up a storage caddy 

When it comes to shoulder surgery, reaching for things will become a challenge post-op. Before the day of your surgery, try to prepare a caddy or container full of necessary items like tissues, medication, water, and snacks. 

3. Gather an easy-to-wear wardrobe 

Getting dressed is going to be a challenge, especially if you like to wear things like T-shirts and hoodies. During your recovery, try to limit your wardrobe to things with zippers, buttons, and sashes. 

4. Buy frozen, pre-cooked, or home-delivered meals 

Unless you have someone to make meals for you, you’re going to have to find ways to cook without full use of your arms. To make things easy on yourself, invest in frozen and pre-cooked meals that are easy to heat up and enjoy. Alternatively, make good friends with delivery drivers in your area.

5. Ask for help 

This step might be difficult, but having a friend or family member around can lift a massive burden from your shoulders, both literally and figuratively. If you can, consider asking someone to swing by to help you clean up, cook, or change your clothes. 

Have you recently suffered a shoulder injury? Struggling with chronic shoulder pain? Our team can diagnose the cause and help you decide how to move forward. Just call the AOSM location closest to you, or book an appointment online.