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John McDonald, MD

Dr. McDonald’s Practice Locations

Contact My Team
Appointments: (512) 439-1001
Billing: (512) 439-1130
Medical Questions: (512) 439-1000, option 3
Medical Records: (512) 439-1000, option 2

Post-Op Instructions for Shoulder Arthroscopy

Please follow these instructions carefully. If you have any questions, please contact a member of Dr. McDonald’s team at (512)-439-1000


  • We would like to see you for a post operative visit at:

            Two weeks

            Six weeks

            Three months


  • You will be provided with instructions prior to discharge.
  • Change your dressings every day after the first dressing change (2-3 days after surgery)
  • The steri-stips (white tapes) will be removed at your post op appointment. If they fall off during a dressing change simply keep the area clean and covered with your dressings
  • DO NOT apply ointment over incisions
  • DO NOT soak incisions in a bathtub or hot tub. You may shower
  • At each dressing change, evaluate the incision for drainage, redness surrounding the incision or red streaks. These combined with  increasing pain and fever (Temp greater than 101 degrees) can be signs of infection – please notify our office right away.


  • Dissolvable sutures were used during your surgery. They will dissolve under the skin. Please keep your wounds clean and dry by following the instructions above regarding dressing changes. Some incisions may have “tags” that will be clipped at the skin level at your post-operative appointment
  • Staples or non-dissolvable sutures were used to close your incision. These will need to be removed 10 to 14 days following your surgery at your post-op visit. These need to remain dry for the entirety of your post-operative period.


  • Please use the Gameready/Polarcare device as instructed. Always place a thin towel or pillow case between your skin and the ice machine as it is possible to burn your skin from icing.
  • If you experience problems with your Gameready/Polarcare device please contact the company representative.


  • Please wear your sling as instructed. If you are placed in a sling we prefer for you to wear the sling AT ALL TIMES – including at night to support the shoulder and take tension off your surgical site. Adjustments can be made to the sling by our staff or your Physical Therapist to make it as comfortable as possible.


  • TED stockings are to be worn for the first two weeks after surgery. They aid in controlling lower extremity swelling and decrease the chances of blood clot formation. You may remove them to shower, but please wear them at all times the first two weeks after surgery. 


  • You may eat a regular diet following your surgery. Please drink plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages. Please do not consume alcohol with your pain medications. 


  • Use as directed on the label. All medications should be taken with food. Do not mix with alcohol or drive while you are taking narcotics. 
  • We often prescribe narcotic pain medications to aid in controlling post operative pain – such as Norco and Oxycodone. These medications may not alleviate all your discomfort, but should help manage pain along with elevation of your extremity and icing. Please take medications as instructed. Pain medications will only be refilled in the post-operative period.
  • Please note: narcotics are highly addictive pain medications that can create side effects such as constipation and lethargy. Many narcotics, such as Percocet and Vicodin, also contain acetaminophen (Tylenol), which if taken in increasing doses can cause liver failure and even death.
  •  Remove Scopalamine Patch in _______ days.  Wash hands and area carefully after removing.

It is the strict policy of this office that narcotics and other pain medications will NOT be refilled on weekends or after hours.

  • Constipation may occur when taking oral pain medications. Please increase your water intake while taking these medications. If you are experiencing discomfort due to constipation, you may take an over the counter stool softener (Colace, Mirolax, etc).
  • We prefer you to avoid anti-inflammatory medications for 6 weeks following surgery as they may inhibit healing


  • You will be given a specific physical therapy rehabilitation program which will help maximize your recovery and surgical outcomes. Physical Therapy protocols have been developed by Dr. McDonald to provide the best surgical outcome possible. DO NOT advance your Physical Therapy protocol unless directed so by Dr. McDonald.