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Rehabilitation Protocol

SLAP repair

Phase I: Protect repair, restore ROM (0 to 6 weeks)

  • May remove dressing and shower postop day #3
  • Sutures are all underneath the skin and will dissolve on their own
  • Ice or cold flow systems encouraged for the first week at a minimum: should be used 3- 4 times per day.
  • Sling should be in place when not performing exercises
  • Scapular ROM exercises
  • No lifting with involved extremity
  • Avoid pure active shoulder exercises, resisted biceps exercises
  • Avoid shoulder rotation ROM from abducted position and cross body motions
  • Initiate exercise program 3 times per day:
    • Immediate elbow, forearm and hand range of motion out of sling
    • Pendulum exercises
    • Passive and active assistive ROM – flexion and scapular plane elevation to tolerance, ER to 45 (pulleys, supine gravity assisted exercises)
    • Emphasize home program

PHASE II: Advance ROM (6 to 12 weeks)

  • May discontinue sling
  • Lifting restriction of 10 pounds should be reinforced with patient until 3 months
  • Advance to AROM exercises
  • Advance PROM and capsular mobility as tolerated
  • Avoid rotational ROM in abducted position until 8 weeks postop
  • Initiate rotator cuff and gentle biceps strengthening (up to 10 lbs).

Phase III: Restore function (> 3 months)

  • Discontinue lifting restriction.
  • Advance to higher level rotator cuff and scapular stabilizer strengthening
  • Start throwing progression if applicable.
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons
  • New England Shoulder and Elbow Society
  • Boston Sports & Shoulder Center
  • Tufts University