Shoulder Fracture Fixation

Sling

When will I go home?

What can I do?

What can’t I do?

4 weeks You will be discharged on the day after the operation Passive shoulder movement, elbow/wrist mobilisation No forced movements or stretching, no lifting

Acute phase (0-2 weeks)

Goals

  • Reduce pain
  • Initiate passive shoulder range of movement
  • Maintain elbow/wrist range of movement

Rehabilitation

  • Shoulder passive range of movement exercises
  • Do not force or stretch
  • Elbow/wrist range of movement exercises
  • Scapular setting exercises

Criteria for progression

  • Reduction and control of pain

Intermediate phase (2-6 weeks)

Goals

  • Reduce pain
  • Wean sling by 6 weeks
  • Restore passive shoulder range

Rehabilitation

  • Start to wean sling at 4 weeks post op
  • Gentle isometric exercises in neutral as pain allows
  • Scapular control exercises
  • Begin active assisted exercises ensuring glenohumeral movement (not scapulothoracic)
  • Hydrotherapy permitted

Criteria for progression

  • Pain controlled
  • Adequate shoulder range to start active range & cuff strengthening

Late phase (>6 weeks)

Goals

  • Functional active shoulder range
  • Strengthen cuff
  • Scapular control

Rehabilitation

  • Progress to full active exercises in all ranges
  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Closed chain exercises
  • Capsular stretching
  • Proprioceptive training

Guides for return to functional activities

Driving

Lifting

Swimming

Golf

8 weeks Light lifting at 6 weeks. Avoid heavy lifting until fracture completely healed 6-8 weeks 3-6 months

Download Information Sheet (PDF)

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