QOC Qld Ortho Clinic

Post Operative Care

The QOC Surgeons  will discuss your post operative care.

The QOC team of Physiotherapist/Hand therapists will review you around 2 weeks after surgery.
You shall receive a phone call from the therapist to book a suitable appointment.

Shoulder Surgery Queensland Research Institute is developing various new rehabilitation protocols.
Our team of dedicated therapists will use modern, innovative, scientifically validated rehab tools to aid in your recovery.

You will be advised how to restart specific medications if you were asked to stop these. If unsure please ask.

Post operative pain management is guided by the anaesthetist and individualised to your needs.



You will have a waterproof  dressing after surgery. Please keep your dressing intact till your post operative review with the QOC surgeon and the therapist.

You may shower daily.

If you have bandages around your limb please cover these with glad wrap for showers.

Usually most wounds are well healed by 2 weeks.

If you have have undergone keyhole shoulder surgery its normal for your incisions to have a bit of bloodstained fluid leak. The surgery is performed using water and the residual fluid generally leaks out in the 1-3  days


Sometimes significant bruising is seen in the front of the shoulder or along the biceps muscle. This is normal and is related to fluid tracking down the arm after surgery.


Redness around the incision is very common and should not be a concern for the 1st 5 days. If it is associated with drainage 5 days after surgery or if you have any redness spreading away from the incision or fevers please contact QOC.


We recommend that you eat a light diet the evening of surgery and the next day but you may resume eating a regular diet as soon as you tolerate it.

Please avoid fish oil tablets for 2 weeks after surgery.



It is often very difficult to sleep in the week or two following shoulder surgery. The surgery itself may interfere with your sleep-wake cycle. In addition, many patients have increased shoulder pain lying flat on their back. We recommend that you try sleeping in a recliner or in a reclined position in bed. This is often much more comfortable.

You may place a pillow between your body and your arm and also behind your elbow in order to move your arm away from your body slightly. This often helps with the pain. You should wear your sling when you sleep.


If you have undergone foot and ankle surgery it is advisable to keep the limb elevated on cushions or pillows.


You are not legally allowed to drive as long as your arm is in a sling or leg is in a cast.

You are strongly advised to refrain from driving as long as your arm is in a sling or you are using a brace for your knee or cast for your leg.

Clearance to drive is discussed as a case by case basis. Please discuss this with your QOC surgeon prior to surgery.

You are advised against operating  a motor vehicle while taking narcotic medications. Please limit car driving until you are off narcotics.


Physical Therapy

The decision to prescribe physical therapy and when to start these activities is made on a case by case basis. This will be discussed with you after surgery.

The QOC’s dedicated team of therapists will ensure that your rehab program is tailored to your postoperative needs.

You will be handed out detailed and precise post op care protocols on your 2 week post op visit.

If you have misplaced the post op rehab protocol you can find it under the HealthCare Professionals tab.



After surgery your shoulder will be placed in a sling. The sling should be worn as directed by Dr Gupta. The sling is used to help in your post operative recovery, healing and helps avoid inadvertent injury to your shoulder in the early post operative period.

If you have undergone a shoulder replacement In some cases where the repair must be carefully protected, your arm may be placed in a sling with a pillow that is attached around your waist. It is very important to wear your sling as directed by Dr Gupta.

You must remove your arm from the sling to bend and straighten your elbow and to move your fingers several times a day. You may remove the sling to bathe, dress, and eat.  Its important that you use your hand from the very first day after surgery  to eat, read a book, hold your phone/ tablet etc.

Avoid lifting weights greater than 2 kgs in the operated arm.