Sling When will I go home? What can I do? What can’t I do?
4 weeks You will be discharged on the same day as the operation Passive range of movement in safe zone* No active movements, no lifting

Acute phase (0-4 weeks)

Goals

  • Reduce pain
  • Respect surgical repair
  • Begin controlled range of movement

Rehabilitation

  • *Safe zone: passive forward flexion to maximum 90°, passive external rotation to neutral
  • Teach scapular setting, postural correction
  • Pendular exercises
  • From 2 weeks, commence assisted active forward flexion to 60° (eg with cane, stick)
  • Elbow, wrist and hand exercises
  • No active forward elevation or abduction exercises

Criteria for progression

  • Pain control

Intermediate phase (4-8 weeks)

Goals

  • Discard sling
  • Restore functional range of movement
  • Re-educate cuff recruitment and scapular control through range
  • Enhance proprioception
  • Preserve surgical repair integrity

Rehabilitation

  • Progress range of movement beginning with passive movement, and then increasing active assisted and active as tolerated, whilst respecting pain
  • Commence cuff strengthening regime
  • Ensure dynamic scapular control through range
  • Hydrotherapy permitted

Criteria for progression

  • Pain free range of movement
  • Scapular and cuff musculature control through range

Late phase (>8 weeks)

Goals

  • Restore full range of movement
  • Optimise cuff and scapular control under load
  • Enhance shoulder power, strength and endurance

Rehabilitation

  • Continue to increase range of movement to functional range
  • Strengthening and endurance exercises for cuff and scapular musculature

Guidelines for return to functional activities

Driving Lifting Swimming Golf
6-8 weeks Light lifting at 6 weeks, avoid heavy until 3 months Breaststroke 6 weeks, freestyle 12 weeks 3 months

 

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