Surgery for Shoulder Impingement: Your Experience

Surgery can help free up space in your shoulder joint. This relieves symptoms of impingement. Prepare for surgery as instructed. If you don’t, your surgery may have to be rescheduled. Your healthcare provider will give you instructions for recovering at home. If you have any questions, be sure to get them answered.

Preparing for surgery

Here are ways to get ready: 

  • As instructed, stop taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medicines.

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines and herbs you take. Ask whether you should stop taking them before surgery.

  • Don’t eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. This includes water, mints, and chewing gum.

  • Arrange for an adult friend or family member to give you a ride home.

Recovering from surgery

Here is what to expect: 

  • You will be taken to a recovery area after surgery. A healthcare provider will give you medicine to help relieve discomfort.

  • If you had arthroscopy, you might go home the same day. If you had open surgery, you may need to stay overnight.

  • Before leaving the surgery center or hospital, make sure you know how to care for yourself at home. Taking medicine, using ice, and keeping your arm in a sling as instructed will help you recover faster.

  • It may take a few months to feel the full benefit of the surgery.

When to call the healthcare provider

After surgery, it’s normal to feel some shoulder pain and numbness for the first few days. But call your healthcare provider if you notice any of the following:

  • Excessive pain or swelling

  • Excessive drainage from the wound

  • Numbness in your fingers or hand

  • Increased redness near an incision

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider


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