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Dr Allan Clarke

Shoulder Hip and Knee Surgeon

  07 5437 6510

When At Home

For most shoulder procedures, you will have a sling which should be worn day and night for the first 4 weeks. The aim of the sling is to take some of the tension off the repair. You can remove the sling for exercises and when sitting quietly.

Post-operative shoulder pain is often worse at night, especially the first few nights. Some patients find it more comfortable to sleep a little more vertically, for instance, in a recliner. Take your pain medication regularly to prevent break through pain which can be more difficult to control once established.

Do not overdo things for the first few days after a knee arthroscopy. There is anaesthetic in the joint and the protective pain response is not working during this time.

The wounds will be covered by waterproof dressings which are suitable for showering if intact. If they are peeling off or not watertight, you can purchase more from most chemists.

An increase in body temperature is common following an operation. If, however, you have persistent fevers, sweats, rigors and/or worsening shoulder pain, please contact the rooms during business hours or the hospital where the surgery was performed at other times.

Pain Medication


Most pain medications fall into one of two groups:

1. Those that dull the pain which include the stronger prescription pain killers such as Targin, Endone and Codeine and the more commonly used pain killers such as paracetamol (Panadol, Herron Blue etc). The body develops a tolerance to the stronger pain killers over time and they become less effective and should only be used for a few days after surgery. They frequently cause nausea and constipation. Paracetamol is an excellent pain killer and can be used for longer post operatively in patients who do not have liver or kidney disease.

2. Those that decrease the post-operative inflammatory response which is responsible for causing pain. Using these anti-inflammatory drugs can decrease the need to use the pain killers listed above and will also help with swelling and allow the operated joint to move quicker following surgery. Examples are ibuprofen (Nurofen) and diclofenac (Voltaren) which can be bought over the counter and Celebrex and Mobic which have less stomach irritation but require a prescription and are more expensive. These drugs should be used with caution in asthmatic patients and patients with a history of stomach ulcers or kidney disease but otherwise can be used safely at the recommended doses for 7 – 10 days post operatively.

ALWAYS STAY WELL HYDRATED AND AVOID ALCOHOL WHEN TAKING THESE MEDICATIONS. WHEN USING THE STRONGER (NARCOTIC) PAIN KILLERS AVOID DRIVING, OPERATING MACHINERY AND SIGNING IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS.