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Shoulder Scope Discharge Instructions

Medication

You have left the hospital with 2-3 prescriptions for medications. There is one prescription for narcotic pain medication, most likely Norco. This is the medication you should start taking as the block (or numbness) wears off. You can take this medication 1-2 tablets, every 4-6 hours as you need it for pain. If you are allergic to Norco, you may have been sent home with something different, just follow the directions on the bottle. The 2nd prescription is for Reglan, this medication is for nausea. If you are feeling nauseous after surgery, take this medication. If you are not having problems, you don’t need to take it. The 3rd prescription is for Ultram ER, this is a once-a-day pain medication. We recommend you start taking it tonight with dinner. This medication works well with the Norco, and lasts all day. If you do not have a prescription for ULTRAM, it is because it interacts with one of you daily medications. If you need additional pain relief, remember to take the ULTRAM, and you can also take Ibuprofen 600mg (or 3 Advil or over-the-counter tablets) 3 times a day. If you are on blood thinners or have a history of ulcers you should NOT take ibuprofen. If you are having significant problems sleeping, you can take an over-the-counter sleep-aid, but we ask that you consult your pharmacist so that it doesn’t interact with your other medications. YOU SHOULD NOT DRIVE WHILE TAKING THE NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICAITON.

Side Effects

All pain medications have side effects. Narcotic medication can cause constipation, disturb sleep, and cause dependency. Do not exceed the recommended dosage of the medications prescribed by Dr. Romeo.

Ice Machine

The hospital has provided you with a Polar Care Ice machine. We recommend you use this machine for post-operative pain relief and swelling. When you get home place a dishtowel or t-shirt under the blue pad so it isn’t directly on your skin. Remember, you skin is numb, and wouldn’t feel if it was getting frost bite. The ice is MOST useful in the first 3 days after surgery. We recommend using it AT LEAST 20 min at a time. Most patients use it 1 hour on / 1 hour off for the first 24-48 hr while awake. If you are having problems with the ice machine, please call the number on the cooler before contacting the office.

Sling

Based on the surgery you’ve had, Dr. Romeo wants you in your sling for:

As needed for pain / 3 weeks / 4 weeks / 6 weeks

You need to wear the sling at all times except: to get dressed (but do not move your surgical arm), when bathing (but remember to keep your incision dry until the stitches come out), at physical therapy, and when doing your home exercise. YOU NEED TO SLEEP IN YOUR SLING. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND DRIVING WHILE IN YOUR SLING.

To remove the sling, unfasten the neck strap, next unfasten the strap around your waist, then open the Velcro over the top of the sling, and slide your arm out. You may allow your elbow to straighten as you do this. Remember to keep your arm near your side. When putting the sling back on remember to keep you arm near your side. You may adjust the straps as needed. The key to the sling is to keep your arm well supported so the sling does the work, keep the arm about parallel to the floor and your hand should be somewhere near your bellybutton. If you have questions, please call Allison Terry PA-C at 312-432-2370.

Wound Care

Dr. Romeo has placed a large dressing over your shoulder. You should leave this dressing on for 2 days. On the second day after your surgery, you can remove this dressing. Just pull off the tape and all of the gauze. There are steri-strips (they look like tape) over your incision, leave those on. After you have removed the old dressing, cover the incisions with either gauze and tape, or larger band-aids. If you have some irritation near your armpit, we recommend placing some gauze in your armpit to absorb the moisture. You may clean around the incisions with a CLEAN washcloth, but DO NOT PUT ANY ALCOHOL, LOTION, OR OINTMENT ON YOUR INCISIONS. If you keep the incisions clean, dry and covered, they will heal just fine. If you decided to shower before getting your stitches out, we ask that you cover your incisions with waterproof bandaging. We do NOT want the incisions to get wet. To clean under your arm, bend forward and allow you arm to hang straight down to the ground, then you will have access to your armpit. Do not bend to the side, or lift your arm over your head.

Your stitches will need to be removed in 7-14 days. Please contact Angelica to make a follow-up appointment (312-432-2342). If you live a great distance from our office, you can have a local physician remove your stitches. Please contact our office to let us know that is what you are going to do, and we can schedule your follow-up visit with Dr. Romeo.

Home exercises and PT

After surgery, we recommend you start some home exercises before beginning PT. Pictures of these exercises are included in this packet. If you have any questions, please call Kelly Schleich PA-C (312-432-2369).

Regarding PT, your prescription was included with your prescriptions for medication. It is a full sheet of paper with you name handwritten at the top. You can call ahead to the PT location of your choice to schedule those appointments. We recommend scheduling 2-3 appointments a week unless otherwise stated on the prescription. Make sure you bring that prescription with you to your first appointment.

WHEN TO CONTACT OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY