General Instructions for diagnostic shoulder arthroscopy

  • Apply ice covered with a towel to shoulder for 2-3 days (15-20 minutes at a time).
  • Swelling and bruising is normal. Most of the swelling will settle within 48hr
  • Low grade temperatures (37.5 C) are not uncommon for a few days after surgery
  • Your sling is for comfort only.


  • Your dressing may show blood stains after surgery. This is expected. If the blood is still wet after the first day seek advice
  • You may shower after 3 days.
  • Do not swim or submerge incisions in water for 2 weeks.


  • Take the arm out of the sling every few hours and straighten the elbow whether you are exercising or not
  • Move and use your elbow and wrist as comfort allows
  • Start “pendulum” exercises with arm in front of body.
  • No lifting, pushing, and pulling for 1 week.

Work and Driving

  • Your comfort level should be your guide for returning to work.
  • Most people are able to return after 1 week
  • Driving is determined by your ability to turn the wheel safely in an emergency


You should be seen about 2 weeks after surgery for the wounds to be checked and the findings discussed.