Non-Operative Recovery

Recovery from MDI (Multidirectional Instability) is a long process that usually requires a six-month physical therapy rehabilitation program. If this succeeds, an ongoing maintenance program to prevent the return of instability symptoms is often necessary. If six months of physical therapy has not controlled the instability, surgery may be indicated.

Operative Recovery

Following surgery:
  • For the first 4 to 6 weeks, the patient usually wears a sling to protect the repair as it heals.

  • During this time of immobilization, elbow and wrist motion are maintained with gentle range of motion exercises.

  • Once the initial healing process is complete, the patient begins a very slow and progressive physical therapy rehabilitation program to restore motion and eventually strengthen the shoulder.

  • Patients who have had open surgical procedures are put on an exercise program designed to protect the subscapularis muscle from injury. (This muscle was detached during the procedure to give the surgeon access to the joint capsule and then reattached at the end of the procedure.)

  • Patients who undergo an arthroscopic thermal stabilization treatment require a longer period of immobilization (often up to 8 weeks) to allow scar tissue to replace the thermally treated tissue. This scar tissue formation is essential to the success of this procedure, as the thermally treated tissue is at risk of stretching.

  • Full participation in sports is generally restricted for 9 to 12 months following a repair.

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