Whilst Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Gupta (in collaboration with your GP and physio) will help guide and motivate you through your recovery, remember that everyone’s recovery process is different, and that recovery can take up to a few months depending upon your condition and surgery.
Below is a short checklist that outlines what to do along your journey to recovery. Your number one post-surgery priority should be to protect the area of surgical repair to allow the skin to heal and prevent any possible infection.
• Post surgery, make sure you keep your wound dry
• Use your pain medication as prescribed by your GP doctor
• Visit your physiotherapist as recommended and repeat your physio session by yourself daily
• Confirm your post-op appointment with Dr. Gupta
Trying to limit swelling is one of the most important things you can do for yourself after surgery. Any surgery on the arm or shoulder will result in swelling. An ice pack wrapped in a tea-towel, applied to the top of the dressings will help in the first 2 weeks.
The post-surgical dressing will be damp and may appear bloody on the night of surgery. Post-surgery, Dr. Gupta and his team will talk to you about wound care and discuss how to go about dressing and changing your wound.
Do not touch or move your dressing unless you were specifically told to do so by Dr. Gupta. Furthermore, make sure you keep the wound area dry.
TIP: During bathing, place your arm and/or shoulder in a plastic bag, seal the bag to your skin above the dressing and place a small towel inside the seal to catch any water that breaks through.
Pain After Surgery
Dr. Gupta will discuss with you the type of pain you may experience after surgery. If you are concerned, please consult your local GP.
You can minimise pain by taking your recommended medication, resting and using ice packs on your dressing, for 20 minutes at a time.
Eating After Surgery
You should start with small, light meals after surgery. If you have had an anesthesia tube in your throat during surgery you may be hoarse, and experience a sore throat.
It is important to drink a moderate amount of fluid. Most patients do not have much of an appetite for 24 hours after the surgery. Try slowly consuming fluids - we recommend Gatorade, clear non-caffeinated soda, or chicken broth. Your appetite should gradually return.
After surgery your nerves can become very sensitive.
Hypersensitivity is rare and is only a problem after surgery if it gets out of control. Visiting your physio regularly after surgery and beginning to slowly use your arm and shoulder are the best ways you can prevent this problem occurring.
Risk of Infection
You can decrease the chance of an infection by following all instructions on dressing and wound care. If you think you are developing an infection, call Dr Gupta immediately. Infections are very rare but they can still occur.
Below are some general tips on how to approach post-operative recovery:
• Do not use your surgery arm when getting out of bed or up from a chair. Use the opposite arm
• You may experience less pain after surgery, which may make you believe you can do more. Be certain to follow Dr. Gupta’s instructions so that you don't overdo it and increase your recovery time
• You will most likely need to avoid contact sports after surgery. Dr. Gupta will discuss these restrictions with you
• Avoid undertaking household chores, such as raking, sweeping, mopping, and using the vacuum cleaner with your surgery arm
If you have any other questions about after surgery recovery contact Dr Gupta on 02 9687 8344, or make an online booking here.