Shoulder surgery is a very difficult surgery to recover from. This joint takes a long time to recover fully and it is vitally important that you follow EXACTLY what your surgeon instructs you to do. I have seen cases where patients don’t follow doctor orders and invariably the rehabilitation is more long and more difficult. So be very careful to find out if you have restrictions, what the restrictions are, and to follow those restrictions religiously. Come to therapy when your doctor tells you and we will help regain the full function of your shoulder.
Many times your surgeon will give you “Pendulum” exercises to complete at home after a surgery (a rotator cuff repair, for example). This is an effective exercise to complete IF you do it right.
ONLY COMPLETE THIS EXERCISE IF PRESCRIBED BY YOUR SURGEON
The theory behind this exercise is that momentum is what moves the shoulder – not the muscles in the shoulder that were recently repaired surgically. Your surgeon gave this exercise as it is a way to move the shoulder without having the activate the muscles.
Simply lean over and dangle the arm – begin moving your body back and forth and let the momentum of the movements of your body move your shoulder back and forth. Move your body in all directions – up and down, back and forth, and your shoulder will also move in all directions. Complete this exercise as prescribed by your surgeon so you don’t come to therapy with no movement in the shoulder and also to avoid a contracture in the shoulder.
Flexion/Abduction Wall Walks
Stand with your operated shoulder toward the wall.
Put your fingers on the wall and “walk” up the wall as far as you can comfortably – hold for 5-10 seconds, and then “walk” back down.
Completed 3 to 5 times
Lie down with broom stick (or any stick in hands). This can be done on a couch or a bed.
Put the operated arm hand on one end of the broom stick, and the other hand lower down on the stick.
Move the operate arm in the air as far as you comfortably can, hold 5-10 seconds, and then lower back down. Completed 5-10 times.
*Don’t move arm too far into the stretch, and stop if there is severe pain*