Rotator cuff injuries are a leading cause of shoulder disabilities in men and women 50 or older. Pain is a leading complaint. In some situations, early detection allows physical therapy and other non-surgical treatments to help ease the pain. But, around two out of five people with shoulder pain undergo rotator cuff repairs annually.
There are two forms of rotator cuff surgery: arthroscopic and open surgery. Arthroscopic is less invasive, so it’s preferred. Your dad is undergoing rotator cuff surgery. What post-hospital care will be needed?
Recovery From Arthroscopic Surgery
Tiny In an arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery, the surgeon makes tiny incisions. The surgeon closes those incisions with glue. Care for them is minimal and usually involves bandages. His nurses should check the incisions for signs of infection. If he has stitches, they follow the same care plan.
If he is allowed to go home, he may have pain medications administered through injections or IVs. Eventually, he’ll taper off any prescription pain medications to over-the-counter pain relievers. A nurse helps with medication administration.
He needs to get up and walk around often to prevent blood clots in the legs. If he’s not stable, a nurse can supervise his walks to ensure he doesn’t fall. Or that he stops and sits down if he’s feeling light-headed.
Heavy lifting is not allowed. However, your dad starts working with a physical therapist to build up shoulder strength as soon as possible. Physical therapy may last six months, so he needs to be prepared for many PT appointments.
Recovery From Open Surgery
The surgeon makes an incision on the top of the shoulder with open surgery. Drilling a hole in the bone to create a permanent stitch to hold the muscle in place typically repairs the muscle tear. After the surgery, the incision receives stitches.
A home health care nurse must change bandages and ensure the incision is healing correctly. IV pain medications require monitoring your dad’s vital signs to ease his discomfort. Eventually, he’ll taper to prescription medications and over-the-counter Advil or Tylenol.
His doctor may instruct his nurse to record his blood pressure, respiration rate, pulse, and blood oxygen saturation levels while on prescription pain medications, especially IV meds. Doctors often require this precaution to ensure that the medications don’t cause his blood pressure to dip too low.
Again, he will need months of physical therapy. So be prepared for multiple appointments each month and exercises he needs to do several times a day.
Arrange post-hospital care once you know the type of surgery he’s having. He will need care longer than arthroscopic if having open surgery. Talk to an advisor in post-hospital care to schedule the services he needs.
If you or an ageing loved one are considering Post Hospital Care in Burlington, Ontario, please contact the caring staff at DaNurse At Your Care Services today. Call (416) 231-6900
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