Please note it can take 9 months following surgery until the pre-operative symptoms have settled!

Phase 1: First 2 weeks

  • Wound care as outlined on the Shoulder Arthroscopy Rehabilitation page
  • You have been provided with a sling comfort but try to do without it if you can.
  • You can use the arm with no restrictions below shoulder height
  • You may actively lift the arm above shoulder level but this will be painful
  • Use the good arm to lift the operated arm above shoulder height several times day (passive stretching to prevent stiffness)
  • Try to avoid carrying anything greater than 2Kg as this will be painful
  • Start the rehabilitation exercises on the instruction sheet as soon as possible.
  • Aim to do the exercises 10 times each, 3 times a day.

Phase 2: 2-8 weeks

  • You will be seen in the clinic for a wound check at 2-3 weeks
  • The passive range of motion (PROM) of the shoulder will be assessed
  • Increase the passive forward flexion exercise and start abduction exercises (out to the side)
  • Aim: Active forward flexion and abduction to horizontal by 6 weeks, passive flexion, abduction and external rotation to normal by 6 weeks.
  • Driving as comfortable from 2 weeks and when safe to do an emergency stop.

Phase 3: 8-16 weeks

  • You will be seen in the clinic at 8 weeks
  • You should now start exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff (this may be under the supervision of a physiotherapist)
  • If able you can now start to lift the arm above shoulder level
  • Aim: Full active forward flexion and abduction by 12 weeks
  • You may be discharged at this stage if you are doing well