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Rehabilitation guidelines for Shoulder Replacement surgery
- 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 Dr Reddy and your therapist to give yourself the best possible chance of recovery and a good outcome.
- I 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
- 3-5 times daily exercises out of sling.
- Passive exercises and gentle active-assisted exercises form the mainstay.
- External rotation allowed only to neutral and forward elevation to 90 degrees. Restrict abduction to 60 degrees.
- Perform forward elevation exercises in a reclined or supine position initially for the first two weeks.
- Stick-assisted and pulley exercises as tolerated.
- 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.