Dr. Christopher Pullen Orthopaedic Surgeon
Chris Pullen
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Dr.Christopher Pullen
Orthopaedic Surgeon

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Rehabilitation Following Arthroscopic Subacromial Decompression

Phase 1: Immediate postoperative period (weeks 0-1)


  1. Finger, wrist, and elbow AROM (3x/day minimum).
  2. Pendular exercises (3x/day minimum).
  3. Ice for pain and inflammation.
  4. May do general conditioning program, i.e. walking, stationary bicycle, etc.
  5. Sling worn for comfort only.

Keep incision clean and dry for first two weeks.

Phase 2: Passive and active motion (weeks 1-2)


  1. ADL’s as tolerated.
  2. Begin PROM and AAROM guided by pain.
  3. Gentle soft tissue massage.
  4. Scapular/glenohumeral joint mobilization as tolerated.
  5. Postural and proprioceptive training.
  6. Continue icing as needed.

Phase 3: Early strengthening (weeks 2-6)


  1. Normal AROM at 6 weeks.
  2. Eliminate shoulder hitching.


  1. Continue PROM and AROM as tolerated.
  2. Continue scapular/glenohumeral joint mobilisation (posterior capsular stretches) as tolerated.
  3. Start strengthening program for scapula stabilisers and rotator cuff (exercise bands, weights - low weights, high repetitions, no hitching).

Phase 4: Advanced strengthening (weeks 6-12)


  1. Continue stretching if motion is tight.
  2. Continue strengthening (progressive resistance exercises).
  3. Reinforce postural training (avoid shoulder hitching).
Dr.Christopher Pullen Orthopaedic Surgeon Shoulder Elbow Trauma Blackburn South VIC
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