Shoulder manipulation under anaesthetic

General Information

  • It is very important to get your shoulder moving immediately following surgery. Aim to use your arm as normally as possible in the early days, to gain the most from your surgery. You should be guided by pain, limiting the activities that make it worse. A balance between movement and relaxation is important.
  • When resting, you may find it comfortable to prop your affected arm up on a pillow. Avoid rolling onto your shoulder at night – putting a pillow under your knees may help to keep you lying on your back.
  • Avoid heavy unnecessary lifting with your operated arm while it is painful.
  • You should not drive until you are out of your sling, your pain has subsided, and you feel confident in your own ability.
  • Be aware of your posture. Ensure that you sit/stand up straight with your chin tucked in and your shoulders relaxed down and back.
  • When dressing – place your operated arm in first, then dress the rest of your upper body and when undressing take your operated arm out last. Wear your sling over your clothes.
  • Return to work as guided by your surgeon (this will depend on the type of tasks you need to do). Return to sports and hobbies should be possible when your shoulder feels comfortable.
  • You can help to control swelling and pain in the early days by using a cold pack on your operated shoulder. Apply the cold pack for 20 minutes, 3-4 times a day, for the first 3 days after surgery. Always place a damp cloth between the cold pack and your skin to protect yourself from ice burn. After 3 days, it will be more beneficial to use hot packs to help alleviate discomfort, especially prior to doing your exercises.