Rotator Cuff Repair Postop Protocol


***these are just guidelines, care should be individualized and focus should be placed on progression rather than concrete timeline - rotator cuff recovery is typically a 6 - 12 month process***

Protective Phase (0 - 8 weeks)

0 - 6 weeks

  • Fit sling
  • Begin passive IR (chest) and ER (30)
  • Begin pendulums @ 4 weeks
  • Perform gripping exercises
  • Elbow flexor isometrics
  • Ice/modalities
  • Start gentle PROM with L-bar @ 6 weeks

6 - 8 weeks

  • d/c brace and sling
  • PROM with L-BAR, progress to AAROM with L-Bar (flexion to 100 deg)
  • Continue pain modalities

Intermediate Phase (8 - 14 weeks)

Goals: establish ROM @ 75% by 12 weeks (passive), increase strength, isometrics for IR/ER/ABD, decrease pain

8 - 10 weeks

  • Perform AAROM L-Bar, flexion AT, ER/IR to tolerance
  • Begin Isometric strengthening (deltoid to 90, IR/ER side-lying, supraspinatus, bi/tri, scapular muscles)

10 - 14 weeks

  • Continue all exercises as above working to full ROM
  • Begin Neuromuscular control exercises ***if patient is unable to elevate without shoulder hiking, maintin on humeral head stabilizing exercises***

Pase 3 - advanced strengthening phase (15 weeks to 6 months)

Goals - gain full ROM, improve strength, improve NM control, gradual return to functional activity

up to 6 months

  • Continue AAROM with L-BAR, all planes
  • Self-scapular stretches
  • Begin aggressive strengthening program - flexion, abduction, Ssp, IR/ER, bi/tri, scapular strengthening, begin conditioning

Return to activity phase (>6 months)

Goals - gradual return to activitya

>6 months

  • Continue all strengthening and flexibility exercises
  • Continue to interval program, may swing golf clubs

« Go Back to Options