If you have a rotator cuff surgery scheduled with your orthopedics surgeon, then you may know that you have an extensive recovery ahead of you. Recovery involves completing certain tasks, like taking your medicine and wearing your sling. However, there are also certain things that you need to avoid. Keep reading to learn about a few of the important activities that you need to stay away from. 

Placing Stress On The Shoulder

There are a wide variety of movements that can cause stress to the rotator cuff once surgery is completed. Ideally, you want to keep the shoulder pretty stables and immobile for at least a few weeks. However, sling use is discouraged after the initial healing period, because scar tissue can form and reduce mobility significantly. Once the sling is removed, you will need to go through physical therapy. While the therapy can help to encourage range of movement, there are certain types of movements that you want to avoid. 

Specifically, you want to stay away from over-extension movements that can cause muscle, tendon, or ligament tears. Lifting your arm above your head, reaching above the head, swinging your arm to the side, and reaching behind the back are a few types of motions you want to avoid.

You also want to avoid lifting objects, especially heavy ones. Your physician will give you a specific weight limit, but you usually do not want to lift more than about 5 pounds for the first few weeks after surgery. Depending on your healing and physical therapy progress, weight can slowly be increased to 10 pounds or more. Do not expect to lift more than maybe 20 pounds though for several months.

Sleeping On Your Back

If you usually sleep on your back at night, then you may have some issues getting the rest you need after your surgery. Back sleeping is painful and your physician or surgeon will want you to avoid back sleeping. The position can place significant pressure and stress on the shoulder due to gravity. Also, the position can lead to inflammation and reduced blood flow. 

If you want to continue sleeping on your back, then you will need to elevate both your head and shoulders. A wedge pillow or several regular pillows placed under the head and neck are a few options. Also, you can sleep in recliner for some time.

If you find it hard sleeping in an elevated position and roll around, then you should wear your immobilizer sling at least while you sleep. This stability will keep the movement from waking you up and it will also keep your shoulder from being injured in the process.