Cold Therapy

Ice your shoulder for at least 20 minutes every hour while awake.

This is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to limit pain. In fact, studies show regular icing leads to decreased pain weeks after surgery. While you are awake, ice your shoulder for about 20 mins every hour. Even if you aren’t having a lot of pain, this is a good idea for the first few weeks after the operation. Options for icing the shoulder include a bag of ice, frozen peas, or a dedicated ice machine which can be purchased on the day of surgery. Place a cloth between your skin and the ice to protect your skin and the incision.

There are several options you can purchase at the time of surgery, you can use your own ice pack or even a bag of peas. My recommendation is to keep it simple and choose the method that will be easiest for you. It is not about how, but how often you ice it. Many people find that the machine is convenient but it is expensive, requires an assistant and is cumbersome. If you wish to purchase a shoulder specific product, I recommend the simplest option.

Related Links

  • Works at
  • Member of
  • orthopaedic traumatology service
  • Health Partners
  • LakeView Hospital
  • TRIA Orthopaedic Center
  • American Shoulder And Elbow Surgeons
  • Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA)
  • AO North America
  • Scapula Institute
  • Minnesota Orthopaedic Society
  • american academy of prthopaedic surgeons
  • ABOS