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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 health care provider will give you instructions for recovering at home. If you have any questions, be sure to get them answered.

Preparing for surgery

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

  • Tell your health care provider about all medications 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.

Man wearing a sling over his shoulder.

Recovering from surgery

  • You will be taken to a recovery area after surgery. A health care 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, 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 doctor

After surgery, it’s normal to feel some shoulder pain and numbness for the first few days. But call your doctor 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 101.0°F (38.3°C) or higher

Online Medical Reviewer: Hanrahan, John, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Image reviewed by StayWell art team.
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 8/6/2013
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