Rehabilitation Protocol for the Elbow

Elbow Replacement

Phase 1: First week

  • You will be in a cast with the arm out straight for the first week.
  • Keep the wrist moving by bending the wrist backwards and forwards. Gently pronate and supinate (rotate the wrist palm up and palm down) as discomfort allows.

Phase 2: 2-6 weeks

  • You will be seen in the clinic for a wound check at 1 week
  • The cast will be removed and the range of motion of the elbow will be assessed
  • An X-ray will be taken to ensure that the components are in a good position
  • If the elbow was very stiff a night splint may be made to help regain the full extension
  • Continue with the exercises for the wrist.
  • Start to gently flex and extend the elbow
  • Aim: To have 50% of full motion by 6 weeks 

Phase 3: 6-12 weeks

  • You will be seen in the clinic at 6 weeks
  • Continue to work on the range of motion
  • Aim: To achieve full motion by 12 weeks 

12 weeks

  • Clinic review with the same criteria as for 6 weeks
  • If good progress is being made with the range of motion you will be seen at 6 months and 1 year, then yearly after that for the elbow to be X-rayed.