Originally Posted by shelion
Screw the icepack. Have them give you something even better:
You fill the cooler with ice and water and a pump circulates the water through the pack on your body part. They are available for shoulders because the doc that did my surgery sent one home with me. I wouldn't have been able to function without it for the first week after the cutting. The pain relief was almost instantaneous once it got turned on and I ran it until the water got warm.
But if you do get one, leave the sleeve part on your shoulder for the first day or so, rather than taking it off and on. It's easier and less painful that way.
What Shelion said. I had my rotator cuff repaired arthroscopically in late July, and that machine was worth its weight in gold.
I had a 3 1/2 cm tear; Milo Sewards at Temple Sports Medicine in Philadelphia repaired the tear, ground off a bone spur. I told the anesthesiologist I'd wait and see on the nerve block; that was a mistake. I woke up in bad pain, thrashing around with nurses holding me down. They gave me the spinal block and it all went away, no more pain.
I went into the surgery in good shape (I'm in the gym 4 - 5 times a week) and that helps a lot with the eventual outcome. I did the PT at Temple Sports Medicine, and 14 weeks postop I've pretty much got full mobility in the shoulder, and the strength is returning pretty fast. I'm 62 years old; I think being in really good shape going into the surgery makes a huge difference in the outcome. If you need this surgery, hit the gym hard for a few weeks beforehand and get into good overall physical condition. You'll be glad you did.