• Exercises After Shoulder Surgery

    by Dr. J. Michael Bennett
    on Jul 21st, 2012

Call 281-633-8600 for an appointment. These are exercises Dr. Bennett recommends for use after some types of shoulder surgery.  Dr. Bennett is a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Fellowship Trained Sports Medicine Physician with clinics in Sugar Land, near First Colony Mall and in Houston, near the Houston Galleria.  If you’re anticipating shoulder surgery, this video may help you prepare for rehab by making you familiar with the kinds of exercise that might be a part of your rehabilitation.  If you’ve had shoulder surgery, you should check with your doctor before doing any exercise to be sure the exercise is recommended by your doctor for your rehab program.

Dr. Bennett is a shoulder specialist with many years of experience in treating injuries such as rotator cuff, frozen shoulder, and AC joint separations.  He demonstrates a typical shoulder exam in this video.

This information is for educational purposes only.  It’s not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  You should not start an exercise program or act upon any information provided here without first seeking medical advice from a physician.

Here’s a transcript of the video:

This is Dr. J. Michael Bennett here, and I’m over at Plex which is an excellent physical therapy facility where they do sports performance and sports specific training and I’m here to show you some basic exercises on what to do after surgery.  Primarily this is geared toward my patients that have had any kind of shoulder surgery.

Every surgeon is different regarding the post-operative course of rehabilitation and it’s very important that you follow what works for your surgeon.  You do not want to go outside their specific directions.

One exercise you can do to work on your internal rotation is when you take a shower in the morning, when you’re done, you take the towel behind your back; this is kind of a back drying technique.  And this is the operative side where you want to get back your control and rotation; we’ll work on this motion here.  So you take your towel and it’s like you’re drying your back.  You’re holding your towel on either side and then you’re slowly pulling up and then holding for a count of ten and then you drop it.  Pull up and hold for a count of ten and then you drop it.  And that will give you your internal rotation and actually help you reach behind your back.

I do not recommend doing this for any kind of tendon repairs, any type of fixation that you have in the shoulder.  Typically this is just for patients that have had a bursectomy or manipulation under anesthesia or have had some sort of contractual release of the shoulder.  It’s not necessarily recommended this early on in rotator cuff repairs; usually later on after the tendon has started to heal.  In my patients I’ll start this usually around eight weeks or so; we’ll start really pushing the motion a little bit higher and harder, but I would wait until later on down the road to start these exercises if you’ve had a rotator cuff repair.  I’ve said before, it all depends on your surgeon; they all have different protocols.  Check with your surgeon first before doing any of these exercises.

For these exercises a lot of times we’ll recommend doing them in the morning when you take a hot shower; it warms the arm up a little bit and gets things loosened up a little bit and as far as reps are concerned I usually recommend doing it in the morning and the evening, probably a set of ten in each direction, hold it for a count of ten seconds at each point of the apex, and that should be good enough unless your surgeon has any other type of protocol he wants you to follow.

If you have any questions about these exercises or if you’re having issues with your shoulder, please call us a 281-633-8600 to make an appointment with Dr. Bennett.

Author Dr. J. Michael Bennett

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