Non-Operative Recovery

  • Patients who have a first dislocation, and do not develop recurrent instability, will often regain full motion from a four to six week course of physical therapy.
  • Patients who do develop recurrent instability have a longer rehabilitation course and should concentrate on strengthening the shoulder muscles. Daily exercises in a home program may be recommended to help prevent instability events.
Operative Recovery

Following either arthroscopic or open operative repair and stabilization:

  • The patient will usually wear a sling for the first four to six weeks. This immobilization protects the repaired labrum while it heals to the glenoid. Until the ligaments heal, the repair must depend on the sutures used to secure the labrum.
  • During this immobilization period, elbow and wrist motion are maintained with gentle range of motion exercises.
  • Once the initial healing process is complete, physical therapy may begin. Exercises stressing range of motion are done for approximately eight weeks after surgery, or until full strength is regained.
  • Overhead sports, such as baseball or tennis, may resume about three months after surgery.
  • Contact sports are restricted for six months.

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