Postoperative care includes pain relief. In the recovery room a local anesthetic or interscalene block can be used. Pain is
also helped by the application of ice and the use of analgesics (Paracetamol etc) or anti-inflammatory drugs (Diclofenac, etc.)
Physiotherapy exercises and limited use of the hand is encouraged and supervised as early as possible after surgery. This
ensures a rapid return of limb function and helps avoid shoulder stiffness. Circumduction exercises are initiated on the day
of surgery. The patient is instructed on performing passive and active range-of-motion exercises, as tolerated, to gain
shoulder flexibility. More active exercises can be started one to six days after surgery. A follow up visit to the
physiotherapist a few days after discharge can help. For athletes, weight training is performed as tolerated once permitted
by the surgeon and physiotherapist.
The experience with arthroscopic subacromial decompression in Bristol since 1992 has been encouraging. "Satisfaction" with the
results can be expected by the majority of patients in 84 - 91% of patients. Patients can usually expect to discard their sling
in 1-2 weeks, return to driving and strengthening exercises at 4-6 weeks and to normal daily activities and gentle sports at
8-12 weeks following surgery.
The first follow up appointment is usually arranged for 2-3 weeks after surgery.
Physiotherapy should be started soon after surgery, usually 3-5 days later and
continued 2-3 times a week for 2-6 weeks depending on the individual patient's