If you have sustained a rotator cuff injury, then you may need to speak with an orthopedic surgeon about surgery so that you can heal properly. The operation will most likely involve the reattachment of one of the many shoulder ligaments to the shoulder bones. You will need to go through a somewhat lengthy period of healing after the operation is over. Keep reading to learn about some tips to help you through the process.
Choose A Comfortable Sling
The rotator cuff is a made up of a series of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. When a ligament tears away from one of the shoulder bones, constant use of the shoulder can make it quite difficult for the ligament to heal properly. This can result in constant pain and soreness. When this happens, an orthopedic surgeon will need to reattach the ligament to the bone after cutting through the shoulder muscles. In some cases, your doctor will need to use rivets or anchors during the procedure. Ties are added to the anchors and the ligament is left to heal over time. The initial healing period that can last up to six weeks and the immobilization of the shoulder is essential in making sure that the ligament attaches completely and permanently to the bone. A sling is needed to keep your shoulder from moving.
The long use of the shoulder sling means that you should try to do your best to purchase a product that fits you as comfortably as possible. There are many different types of slings that will keep your shoulder immobilized, and you will need to make sure that you pick one that is the right size. Sizes are typically determined by the length of the forearm, so measure your arm from your elbow to your knuckles and look for the corresponding size. Also, make sure the sling is made from a moisture wicking or breathable material like polyester or nylon. This will help to reduce sweating and the itching and rashes that can come along with it. If possible, look for an item as well that has different types of pads to cushion the sling along the torso and the shoulder. A sling with one strap over the shoulder and two across the torso will likely be the most comfortable as well.
Invest In A Recliner
Keeping pressure off your shoulder and making sure that the joint stays immobilized and in a neutral position means that you will be unlikely to sleep on your stomach, back, or side like you normally would. Not only is this problematic in terms of healing, but shoulder pain will likely worsen as you lie down due to the way gravity pulls on the shoulder tissues. The best way to sleep is to keep yourself in a reclined position. This may not be convenient or comfortable. However, a recliner chair may be able to assist you.
Consider buying or borrowing a recliner for your home before your surgery. Also, purchase a firm and large pillow to place between your arm and your body while you sleep to help keep your shoulder in the right position. If a recliner is not ideal for your home, then you may want to think about purchasing a device called a wedge pillow. Wedge pillows are triangular orthopedic pillows that are typically sold to keep individuals with acid reflux issues in a reclined position at night. The pillows come in different angles or elevations, so think about getting one with the highest elevation to keep your body positioned correctly.
Orthopedic surgery that involves your rotator cuff will mean a long recovery. However, you can make sure that the recovery process is a comfortable as possible by investing in the right sling and a device that will allow you to keep your body in the right sleeping position. For more information, contact a professional like those from Town Center Orthopaedic Associates