Sling When will I go home? What can I do? What can’t I do?
3-5 days You will be discharged on the same day as the operation All shoulder range of movement No movement into painful extremes.

Acute phase (0-2 weeks)


  • Reduce pain


  • Wean sling by Day 5
  • Early & graduated exercise pathway from passive, to active assist to active shoulder range of movement exercises within pain limits

Criteria for progression

  • Pain control

Intermediate phase (2-6 weeks)


  • Return range of movement to greater than pre-op range


  • Restore maximal range of movement through passive, active assisted and active exercises
  • Ensure normal movement pattern with range of movement
  • Gentle shoulder mobilisations with physiotherapy as needed
  • Ensure scapular stabilisation and adequate control of scapulohumeral rhythm
  • Hydrotherapy permitted
  • Criteria for progression
  • Improvement in shoulder range

Late phase (>6 weeks)


  • Full shoulder range of movement and function


  • Progress range of movement exercises
  • Improved shoulder strength through a graduated strengthening program
  • Dynamic scapular control through range

Guidelines for return to functional activities

Driving Lifting Swimming Golf
2 weeks 6 weeks 2 weeks 4 weeks


Download Information Sheet (PDF)

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