• Begin with clear liquids and lighter foods (Jello, soups, etc.). May progress to general diet as tolerated

Immobilized / Sling:

  • Is to be worn at all times except for showering and exercise. Your sling is there to protect your shoulder. The repair does not start to heal until 8 weeks post-op and does not mature and heal fully for 3-4 months. Any use of the arm other than prescribed therapy will re-tear the repair.
  • Ice machine shoulder sleeve may be removed when not icing.

Wound Care:

  • All bandages should be left in place for the first 24 hours following surgery unless otherwise specified. You may loosen bandage if swelling of the elbow, wrist, or hand occurs. You may remove all postoperative bandages except steri-strips (white paper tape) 24 hours post surgery. Wounds should be kept dry and clean at all times. Apply water proof bandages over the steri-strips.
  • To avoid infection keep incisions clean and dry. You may shower by placing plastic-wrap over the shoulder and water-proof bandages (we have found that Press-N-Seal works best)
  • Do not take baths, swim or sit in a hot tub/jacuzzi. Immersion of the surgical site is to be avoided

Pain medication, Pain control, Ice Therapy:

  • Pain medication is injected into the wound and shoulder during surgery – this will wear off within 8-12 hours. Most patients will require some narcotic pain medication for a short period of time – Prescriptions will be provided to you and should be taken as per directions on the bottle. Common side effects include nausea, drowsiness and constipation – to decrease the side effects, take medication with food. If constipation occurs, consider taking over the counter laxatives. Do not drive or operate machinery while taking pain medication.
  • Ibuprofen 200-400mg (ie. Advil) may be used between narcotic pain medication to help smooth out post operative peaks and valleys, reduce overall narcotic pain medication use, and decrease frequency of narcotic pain medicine usage.
  • A Vascuthern (Game Ready) ice machine will be available to you to rent. This is supplied by an outside, 3rd party company. A representative from Motion Medical will contact you with information regarding the machine and your insurance will be billed for this service if it is a covered benefit. If it is not a covered benefit, you will be billed approximately $175.00 per week if you choose to accept the unit. It is the patient’s responsibility to contact insurance regarding coverage of the machine. These machines are to be used around the clock the first 48-72 hours. Because it is very effective in alleviating pain and swelling, Dr. Chams recommends its use. If you choose not to use the ice machine, you can apply ice and compression to the shoulder. Apply ice for 20 min every hour. An alternative to ice is a bag of frozen vegetables.
  • After the first 48-72 hours, ice intermittently. It is recommended to apply several times daily as needed for pain and swelling.
  • Do not place ice directly onto the skin, always place a towel or cloth under the ice.


  • Do not engage in any activity which increases pain or swelling (lifting or repetitive activities) over the first week to two weeks following surgery. Avoid long periods of sitting or standing (without arm supported) or long distance travel for 2 weeks.
  • NO EXERCISE or shoulder motion is to be done until after your first post operative visit unless otherwise instructed. You may begin elbow, wrist and hand range of motion exercises on the second post-operative day. You will be given a handout detailing these exercises.
  • Formal physical therapy (PT) will be discussed at your first post-operative office visit and should be scheduled prior to your surgery, beginning 2 weeks from your surgery date if at all possible.


    • Contact Dr. Chams 847-247-4000 or his on-call physician assistant at 224-645-0815 if any of the following occur.
      • Excessive, painful swelling or numbness
      • Unrelenting pain