Rehab after rotator cuff repair requires three things:  a good physical therapist, patience, and good pain medication.  The physical therapist is responsible for doing passive range of motion so that you don’t end up with a “”frozen shoulder”” and can guide you through your rehab with the do’s and don’ts of post rotator cuff rehab.

Typically, within the first four weeks after the repair, the arm should be immobilized in a sling to allow for the repaired tendon to become strongly adhered.  During this time, it is important to not actively move the arm using your own muscles but the arm should be moved passively or assisted so that it doesn’t become too tight for function after the four weeks.  Also, there are appropriate exercises during this four week period that will not disrupt the repaired site which the physical therapist can guide you through.  Here at The Stone Clinic, we pride ourselves on helping the patient to become fitter, faster, and stronger after surgery.  This involves treating the body as a whole and finding ways to work the rest of the body but still keeping the repair protected.

Patience is definitely a key component after rotator cuff repair.  Simple things we usually take for granted can become difficult.  For example: dressing, especially putting a shirt on and off, washing your hair, putting deodorant on, driving and sleeping.  All of these activities of daily living have to be modified or in need of assistance.  Your physical therapist can help you learn techniques to do these activities safely and comfortably.

Pain control is  important so your physical therapist can move your arm without you guarding because of pain.  There are many different pain medications  so discuss this with your doctor to find the one best one for you.

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