PATIENT INSTRUCTIONS AFTER CORRECTIVE SURGERY ON A DISLOCATED SHOULDER
STAGE 1 0-3 WEEKS
The upper limb must be in a sling night and day so that the attached cartilage ring can scar into place.
The sling can be taken off when going for a shower and also a few times a day so that the elbow joint can be stretched. However, rotating the forearm outwards from the body must be avoided because it stretches the attached structures.
During the first few nights it is easier to sleep in a half-sitting position.
It is good to use anti-inflammatory drugs regularly for a few days, after which the dose can be decreased in stages, depending on the pain.
During the first few days, cold packs in the area of the operation in spells of 15 minutes ease the pain.
Physiotherapy begins three weeks after the operation and it would be good to book an appointment in advance.
STAGE 2 3-6 WEEKS
Check-up visit at the surgery about three weeks after the operation.
The attachment of the cartilage ring is still in progress, and movement exercises of the upper arm should be started with caution.
So that the shoulder does not stiffen up, the exercises to start with should be pendulum exercises and movement exercises horizontally. Rotation of the forearm is permitted to the so-called neutral position, with the palm forward, but external rotation should still be avoided. Instructions on these can be obtained in conjunction with the visit to the doctor, and you can get individual, more detailed additional instructions from the physiotherapist.
Usually there will be physiotherapist visits 1-2 times a week, but the exercises you do at home by yourself are the foundation of rehabilitation.
You can stop using the sling at week 4, but carrying and encumbering yourself are still prohibited.
So-called isometric exercises will be started to activate the muscles.
STAGE 3 6-12 WEEKS
Now free-form stretching exercises in all directions can be started in stages in order to restore the range of motions.
The rehabilitation of the muscles is begun with resistance rubber band exercises.
During this stage, the objective is to restore a full range of motions to the upper limb.
All encumbering lifting and sudden stretches should still be avoided.
STAGE 4 3-6 MONTHS
Rehabilitation from the operation will take a total of 4-6 months and returning to throwing and ball sports begins step by step as the rehabilitation progresses.
Actual strength exercises at a gym begin at the three-month point.
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