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Post-Operative Instructions

Arthroscopic Stabilisation or Anterior Labral Repair

Pain relieving medication (analgesia):

  1. Panadol / Panadeine / Panadeine Forte.
    • 2 Panadol tablets can be taken up to four times a day and should be continued until all other pain tablets are stopped.
    • When the pain is stronger, Panadeine or Panadeine Forte tablets can be substituted for Panadol, which contain the same amount of paracetamol, but includes Codeine.
  2. Other, stronger pain medications such as Endone may be required in the first few days. A script will be supplied by anaesthetist, and Endone should be taken as directed.
  • Ice packs are effective for the first 3 days after your surgery. If you find they are losing their effectiveness, try alternating the ice pack with a heat pack.
  • At night, sleeping in a reclined chair, sofa or propped up with pillows in bed may be more comfortable than lying flat.
  • A sling must be worn for 4 weeks after the surgery, including the waist band.
  • The sling is to be worn 24 hours per day, except when you are doing your exercises 3 – 4 times per day, or in the shower.
  • When you are in the shower, leave your arm hanging by the side.
  • Button up shirts may be worn under the sling.
  • By law, you must not drive with your arm in a sling. Patients who drive with one arm in a sling may be found liable if they are involved in an accident.
  • Exercises need to be performed 3 – 4 times per day.
  • Please see the Home Exercise Instructions and Video for more details on how to perform your exercises. On your USB flash drive or click here to view on our website.

Your first post-operative visit is approximately 2 weeks after surgery. At this visit:

  1. The results of your surgery are explained,
  2. Your dressings are removed and your wounds are checked,
  3. Your shoulder range of motion is assessed.

Your second post-operative visit is approximately 6 weeks after your surgery. At this visit:

  1. Your shoulder range of motion is assessed,
  2. A graduated physiotherapy program is commenced.
  • Remove the sling 4 weeks after surgery and commence a physiotherapy program.
  • Physiotherapy will concentrate on range of motion, str ength, scapula control and proprioception.
  • The physiotherapy program is usually completed in 3 – 4 months.
  • Patients with an office job can generally return to work after 2 weeks, as long as they are comfortable and are able to perform their duties with one arm in a sling.
  • Patients that can perform light manual duties at work can return to work after 8 weeks. Light duties exclude lifting >5 kg, overhead tasks and repetitive actions with the shoulder such as sweeping and driving.
  • Patients whose jobs require heavy manual labour, lifting or working overhead can return to work after 3 months.
  • 6 weeks: Fitness Training (Jogging, Stationary Bike).
  • 3 months: Swimming and Non-contact sports; excludes throwing and overhead sports.
  • 4 months: Supervised Throwing Program.
  • 6 months: Progressive return to full sporting activity including overhead sports, throwing sports and upper limb weights. eg. rugby, tennis, volleyball, basketball, water polo.
  • Avoid Shoulder Press Behind-the-Head, Bench Press and inclined bench press on table. These exercises have an increased risk of re-dislocation.
  • Military presses (with hands and bar in front of face and visible at all times) and bench press on the floor are allowed.

Avoid these Exercises

Substitute these Exercises