A successful outcome from orthopaedic shoulder surgery requires a multidisciplinary approach from our surgeons to physiotherapists.

Our team of Australian trained surgeons will work will formulate a comprehensive plan to ensure a successful treatment outcome to get you back to living life to the fullest.

Below you’ll find our shoulder surgery rehabilitation retreatment plan protocol:

Shoulder Prehabilitation

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The way you prepare your shoulder and body in the lead up to surgery is crucial.

You can optimise your recovery by participating in prehabilitation.

Prehabilitation is a proactive approach to avoiding pain and further injury. You can build strength and stability around your shoulder, while improving mobility, balance and joint function.

Prehabilitation aims to increase the rate of recovery after shoulder surgery.

Since you are already injured, the exercises your physiotherapist provides will not be too strenuous on the shoulder joint. This is because it can lead to more damage being inflicted on the affected shoulder.

To ensure your prehabilitation is safe and effective, it should be performed under your physiotherapist’s supervision. Effective physiotherapy led pre-habilitation is patient-centred, prevention-focused, safe and based on the best evidence available. Your physiotherapist will provide you with exercises and education for your individual presentation.

Our shoulder prehabilitation protocol is a general guideline.

Contact your Melbourne Arm Clinic surgeon or physiotherapist about which exercises will best help you meet your rehabilitation goals.

Goals When do I start? Do not:
Improve shoulder posture

Improve shoulder mobility

Improve shoulder strength

Pain-free exercises

Improve subacromial space

As soon as possible Overstrain your shoulder

Over-use your shoulder

Lift heavy loads

Move into painful extremes

Shoulder exercises may be mildly uncomfortable, however should be gentle and not cause significant pain.

Stop any exercise that causes excessive or prolonged pain. Talk to your physiotherapist if you have any pain while exercising.

Gentle physiotherapy led hydrotherapy is permitted with respect to the guidelines below.

Physiotherapy exercises to address:


  • Scapular posture assessment to correct forward shoulder posture
  • Scapular setting to optimise subacromial space; improve scapular upwards rotation, external rotation, and posterior tilt
  • Cervical posture correction and optimisation
  • Kinematic posture correction and optimisation

Range of movement

  • Gentle cervical range of movement stretches (i.e retraction, lateral flexion, rotation)
  • Gentle scapulothoracic mobility
  • Passive elevation to 90 degrees ( i.e pendular)
  • Passive internal and external rotation
  • Shoulder horizontal flexion


  • Scapular retraction; concentric and eccentric
  • Shoulder extension to strengthen middle and lower trapezius i.e shoulder squeeze, standing row (+/- theraband)
  • Shoulder external rotation in pain free adduction position to strengthen infraspinatus, teres minor and deltoid (+/- theraband)
  • Shoulder internal rotation to strengthen pectoralis and subscapularis (+/- theraband)
  • Shoulder horizontal abduction to strengthen middle and lower trapezius, infraspinatus, teres minor, posterior deltoid
  • Elbow flexion to strengthen biceps and elbow extension to strengthen triceps

Shoulder Post-operative Rehabilitation Protocols

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