This protocol is intended to be a general outline only. The physician reserves the right to either advance or delay this protocol as deemed necessary. If so, this should be done by direct communication with the therapist, or in writing on the therapy referral form given to the patient on the day of surgery.

0-2 Weeks Post-Op: General Guidelines
Precautions: No external rotation beyond 0°, no active biceps recruitment
Goals: Decrease pain, allow minimal passive motion, protect repair

  • Patient should wear immobilizer sling with abduction wedge for first 4-6 weeks, or as directed by physician. Includes all ADL’s and sleeping (remove for bathing).
  • Starting on the day of surgery, patient will perform the following exercises as instructed by physician: pendulum exercises, scapular retraction, scapular depression, elbow curls without weight, and grip/wrist strengthening
  • NO active glenohumeral movement
  • One week after surgery, patient may begin light aerobic exercise (bike, walk) while wearing sling for cardiovascular fitness
  • Ice for several times/day for pain and inflammation control


Week 2-4: Patient seen 2-3x/week
Goals by end of Week 4: PROM scaption to 120° supine, ER to 40° supine w/ arm at 30° abduction, IR to 50°
Precautions: No ER beyond 40° supine

  • Continue use of abduction sling per physician
  • Supine PROM for flexion, scaption, ER, and IR to torso
  • Supine AAROM cane exercises for scaption, flexion, and ER to 40°
  • Lawnmowers, Robbery, and table lift exercises
  • Elbow curls without weight
  • At Week 2, begin submaximal (50% effort) isometrics for shoulder musculature in standing or supine
  • At Week 3, begin pulley exercises for AAROM in planes of flexion and scaption
  • Soft tissue mobilization as needed for cervicoscapular muscle tension
  • Scapular mobilization and isometrics in sidelying to promote proper scapulohumeral rhythm
  • Prone shoulder retraction and extension to neutral
  • Core strengthening exercises as indicated to promote proximal stability


Week 5-9: Patient seen 2-3 x/week
Goals by end of Week 9: Full supine PROM in all directions, IR to table in supine
Precautions: No ER beyond 75° in supine with arm abducted to 45°. Do not begin isotonic strengthening exercises until full PROM is achieved.

  • Continue above exercises, working toward full ROM of shoulder in all planes, except limit ER to 75°as above. Begin gradually increasing abduction angle with ER PROM around Week 7.
  • Wh