Rotator Cuff Repair

General Post-Operative Instructions for Rotator Cuff Repair


  • After three days, you may remove the dressing and shower. After you shower, apply clean, dry, Band-aids over the portal sites. Do not put any lotion, creams or ointments like Polysporin or Neosporin over the sutures. Fresh air and keeping dry is best.


  • In some cases, oozing at the point of incision does persist for several hours. If this should persist beyond this amount of time, please contact our office.


  • It is common to experience temporary swelling around the shoulder joint, which will give you stiffness and discomfort. This may last for several weeks after surgery. Use of an Ice Therapy unit is recommended. The Ice Compression Unit is offered and recommended by physicians for postoperative pain and swelling. Regular ice packs can be used if you do not want to purchase the Ice Therapy unit. Ice therapy should be used for no more than 30 minutes per session, with a 30 minute rest time between sessions. Also, we recommend a thin layer of clothing as a barrier between your skin and the cuff to reduce the risk of frostbite. You can use the Ice Compression unit as many times per day as you wish in 30 minute sessions. We recommend using a minimum of three times per day.

Relief of Pain:

  • You have been prescribed pain medication. Start your pain medicine as soon as you feel discomfort. One or two tablets should be used every three to four hours as necessary. Hopefully, in a short period of time you will be able to use over-the-counter medications for relief of pain and save the prescribed medication for use only when necessary.

Diet :

  • The day after surgery, drink lots of fluids and eat soft, nutritious foods. An adequate diet is essential for the healing process.

Nausea and Vomiting :

  • Although unusual, both can be experienced after anesthesia in surgery. If you have a tendency for this, please discuss it with the anesthesiologist. Otherwise, it is usually alleviated with a clear liquid diet.


  • After anesthesia, drowsiness may persist for quite a while. It should cause no undue concerns.


  • In the first few weeks the sling should be kept on most of the time; however, you should remove your arm from the sling several times a day to bend your elbow and wrist. You may take it off to eat, read, use the computer, etc. The arm should stay close to your body for all of these activities.

For Emergencies After the Office is Closed: 503-214-5200

If You Think That You Have an Urgent Problem That Needs to be Seen Right Away Then go to the Emergency Room.