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Exercises to do after surgery

It is important to do the exercises recommended by your therapist after your rotator cuff repair surgery.

You can begin with hand, wrist, and elbow exercises immediately after surgery.  Your therapist, as directed by your surgeon, will instruct you on which exercises to do and when to begin as you progress after surgery. 

Click each image for a video demonstration of the exercise.

Exercises to be done immediately after surgery: 

Video placeholderBicep Curl/Active Elbow Motion

Bicep Curl/Active Elbow Motion Transcript is below

Stand up straight in a tall, upright posture. Bend your elbow to slowly move your hand toward the front of your shoulder. Change direction and straighten your elbow fully, until your hand is pointed toward the floor. Hold each position for 3-5 seconds. Repeat 10- 20 times.

Exercises to perform only when directed by your surgeon, with instructions from your therapist: 

Video placeholderActive Assisted Shoulder Elevation

Active Assisted Shoulder Elevation Transcript is below

Lay on your back with a rolled towel under your elbow on the surgery side. Hold your wrist on the operative side with your other hand. Use your non-surgery side to assist in moving your arm over your head. Keep your elbow relaxed. Hold at end position for 3-5 seconds. Repeat 10-20 times.

Video placeholderCane Assisted Shoulder External Rotation

Cane Assisted Shoulder External Rotation Transcript is below

Lay on your back with a rolled towel under your elbow on the surgery side. Use a cane or other long object held in your hands to guide the shoulder into rotation as shown. Try to maintain your elbow bent at 90 degrees. or the specific range recommended by your doctor or therapist. Hold end position for 3-5 seconds. Repeat 10 – 20 times.

Video placeholderOverhead pulley

Overhead pulley Transcript is below

Sit in a chair with your back to the door and the pulley securely attached above your head. Slowly push down with the nonsurgical side hand to raise your surgical arm up until a gentle stretch is felt. Lower your arm slowly to the starting position. Repeat 10 – 20 times.