Shoulder Rehabilitation

Shoulder Fracture Fixation


When will I go home?

What can I do?

What can’t I do?

4 weeks You will be discharged on the day after the operation Passive shoulder movement, elbow/wrist mobilisation No forced movements or stretching, no lifting

Acute phase (0-2 weeks)


  • Reduce pain
  • Initiate passive shoulder range of movement
  • Maintain elbow/wrist range of movement


  • Shoulder passive range of movement exercises
  • Do not force or stretch
  • Elbow/wrist range of movement exercises
  • Scapular setting exercises

Criteria for progression

  • Reduction and control of pain

Intermediate phase (2-6 weeks)


  • Reduce pain
  • Wean sling by 6 weeks
  • Restore passive shoulder range


  • Start to wean sling at 4 weeks post op
  • Gentle isometric exercises in neutral as pain allows
  • Scapular control exercises
  • Begin active assisted exercises ensuring glenohumeral movement (not scapulothoracic)
  • Hydrotherapy permitted

Criteria for progression

  • Pain controlled
  • Adequate shoulder range to start active range & cuff strengthening

Late phase (>6 weeks)


  • Functional active shoulder range
  • Strengthen cuff
  • Scapular control


  • Progress to full active exercises in all ranges
  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Closed chain exercises
  • Capsular stretching
  • Proprioceptive training

Guides for return to functional activities





8 weeks Light lifting at 6 weeks. Avoid heavy lifting until fracture completely healed 6-8 weeks 3-6 months
Devinder Garewal

Mr. Devinder Garewal

MBBS, BMedSci, FRACS (Orth), FAOrthA

Mr. Devinder Garewal is an orthopaedic shoulder specialist. Devinder completed his medical qualifications from the University of Melbourne and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian Orthopaedic Association.

Shoulder Bone Icon

Shoulder Joint

Elbow Icon

Elbow Joint

Wrist Icon

Wrist Joint

Hand Icon

Hand Joints

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