You are here
Total Shoulder Replacement Rehabilitation Protocol
- The time-lines mentioned are approximate and actual progression depends on individual recovery. Total recover can take 10-12 months, but significant functional gains can be expected by 12 weeks.
- You will need to wear a sling for 4 weeks, including at night. Please remove the sling for shower and for exercises 3-5 times daily for 15-20 minutes each time.
- Please follow the advice and exercises demonstrated by your surgeon and your physiotherapist to give yourself the best possible chance of recovery and a good outcome.
- Your therapist will incorporate these exercises into your daily home exercise regimen.
- We encourage Hydrotherapy commencing 2-3 weeks after surgery. The warm water and buoyancy allows for comfort and less pain during exercises and muscle relaxation.
- Do not perform forceful exercises. Perform exercises within the limits of pain and allow for a gradual return of movements over time.
- For the first 2 weeks – Apply icepacks 3-5 times daily for 10 minutes each time.
- Remember to take pain medication as advised to assist with exercises and keeping you comfortable.
First 6 weeks
- 5 times daily exercises out of sling.
- Self-stretching shoulder exercises as per protocol.
- Passive and gentle active-assisted forward elevation and rotations to neutral position only form the mainstay.
- The Physiotherapist will see you in the hospital before discharge. Please follow his / her advice and the self-stretching exercises in the sheet will be incorporated in your home exercise regimen.
- Pendulum, Stick-assisted and pulley exercises as tolerated.
- Start scapular retraction and shoulder shrugging as soon as able.
- Elbow, wrist and hand exercises.
- Can start ADLs (activities of daily living like eating, writing, typing, etc.) after 2 weeks with above limitations in movement.
- Maximum weight you can lift is a cup of tea.
- Gradually progress with ADLs.
- Progress with Active-assisted exercises. Can start active ROM exercises. No restrictions to range.
- Start gentle isometric rotation and isometric deltoid exercises (only 25-30% strength).
- Also start core strengthening and scapular stabiliser strengthening as able.
After 12 weeks
- Start rotator cuff and deltoid strengthening exercises.
- Progress with ROM.
- No restrictions to activities.
- Please remember – No forceful stretching. Allow movements and strength to return gradually.