Rehabilitation Following Shoulder Joint Replacement
Phase 1: Immediate postoperative period (weeks 0-4)
Keep incision clean and dry for first two weeks.
- Allow soft tissue healing (protect subscapularis repair).
- Maintain prosthesis integrity.
- Lifting objects.
- Driving for 6 weeks.
- Finger, wrist, and elbow AROM (3x/day minimum).
- Pendular exercises.
- Ice for pain and inflammation.
- ER to neutral only.
- IR to chest.
- FF to 90°.
- FF as pain permits.
- Removed for exercises only.
- Discontinued at 6 weeks.
Phase 2: Active and Passive ROM (weeks 4-6)
- Full PROM (ER to 30° only).
- Restore dynamic shoulder stability.
- Lifting heavy objects(no heavier than coffee cup).
- Continue PROM and AROM as above.
- Begin AAROM flexion, elevation, ER, IR in scapular plane.
- Begin Pulley exercises.
- ADL’s in FF with minimal lifting.
- Continue sling until 6 weeks.
Phase 3: Early strengthening (weeks 6-12)
- Gradual return of shoulder strength.
- Gradual return to ADL.
- Lifting objects >3kg.
- Continue PROM
- ER to 30°.
- Continue AROM:
- FF as tolerated (wall walking).
- IR as pain permits.
- Start strengthening program for scapula stabilizers and rotator cuff (exercise bands).
Phase 4: Advanced strengthening (months 3-6)
- Return to hobbies/sports (gardening, tennis, golf).
- Continue stretching if motion is tight.
- Continue ROM exercises to full movement as tolerated.
- Continue strengthening scapula and rotator cuff muscles.
Complete recovery may take 12 months.