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Rehabilitation Protocol

Acromioclavicular Joint Reconstruction

Phase I: Protect Repair (2 to 6 weeks after surgery)

  • Patients may shower immediately over clear plastic, waterproof dressing
  • Sutures are all underneath the skin and will dissolve on their own
  • Ice encouraged for the first week at a minimum: should be used 3-4 times per day
  • Sling/brace should be in place when not performing exercises
  • Initiate exercise program 3 times per day:
    • Immediate elbow, forearm and hand range of motion out of sling
    • Pendulum exercises
    • Passive and active assistive ER at the side to 30, flexion to 130
  • No lifting with involved extremity.
  • AVOID scapular ROM exercises.

Phase II: Progress ROM & Protect Repair (6 to 12 weeks after surgery)

  • May discontinue sling.
  • Lifting restriction of 5 pounds with the involved extremity.
  • Advance active and passive ROM in all planes to tolerance.
  • Initiate gentle rotator cuff strengthening.
  • Initiate scapular AROM exercises.

Phase III: Full Function (3 months after surgery)

  • Discontinue lifting restrictions.
  • Advance rotator cuff and scapular stabilizer strengthening.
  • Initiate functional progression to sports specific activities at 4 months.
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons
  • New England Shoulder and Elbow Society
  • Boston Sports & Shoulder Center
  • Tufts University