Massive Rotator Cuff Repair & Rehabilitation Exercises

By Steve Silverman

Rotator cuff surgery is an extensive procedure that requires a long rehabilitation period. The four muscles that make up the rotator cuff are relatively small, so it takes a long time to build up strength. The patient must start his rehab with simple exercises and movements because the shoulder is incapable of anything else in the early days after surgery.

Pendulum Swing

In the very early stages after surgery, the basic pendulum movement may be the best exercise to try. Stand up straight and point both hands at the ground. Swing your operative arm back and forth. You may only be able to go 6 inches in either direction when you start. That's your baseline. Try to get at least 2 inches farther every day for the first five days. Swing your arm about 10 times, rest for 30 seconds and swing it 10 more times.

Isometric Exercises

About a month after surgery, try isometric exercises. Place both hands in front of your chest with your palms touching. Press firmly with both palms and hold it for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times, take a 30-second break and do another set.

Band exericses

Grab both ends of a 24-inch exercise band and hold it in front of you at waist level. Pull with both arms outward and hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times and then do another set. Then, place the exercise band behind your back at hip level. Pull with both arms outward and hold for a count of three. Repeat 10 times and do another set.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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