Rotator Cuff Repair

Rotator Cuff Repair (Arthroscopic)

This protocol is based on maintaining range of movement in the first phase and then gradually building strength in the middle to the last phase.


  • ROM Exercises
  • Maximise shoulder strength of deltoid, intact cuff muscles and scapula stabilisers.

Day 1 - 3 weeks

  • Mastersling with body belt
  • Wrist/hand/finger exercises
  • Elbow flex/ext, pro/supination
  • Shoulder girdle exercises
  • Scapula setting exercises
  • Pendular exercises
  • Passive ROM in all directions as tolerated
  • Level 1 Exercises

3-6 weeks:

  • Do not force or stretch
  • Gentle isometric exercises in neutral as pain allows
  • Wean off sling
  • Begin active assisted exercises ensuring glenohumeral movement, not scapulothoracic.
  • Level 2 Exercises

6 weeks +:

  • Progress to full active exercises in all ranges
  • Begin rotator cuff strengthening (pain free)
  • Closed chain exercise
  • Begin stretching the capsule
  • Begin proprioceptive exercises
  • Level 3-4 Exercises




4 Weeks

> 50% pre op passive ROM


6 Weeks

Active assisted ROM equal to pre op level


12 Weeks

Active ROM equal to pre op level


See Post-Operative Exercises

Return to functional activities

Driving                        6 Weeks

 Swimming                   Breaststroke:   6 weeks

                                    Freestyle:          3 months

 Golf                             3 Months

 Lifting                         3 Months (Then guided by the strength of the individual patient)

 Return to work            Sedentary job: 3 weeks  

                                    Manual job:      Guided by Surgeon


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