Anterior stabilisation

Anterior Stabilisation (open or arthroscopic +/- Bankart repair)

  • On Ward

Sling 4-6 weeks. Washing techniques and sling advice/management.

Day 1 on ward – scapula setting in neutral elbow, wrist and hand exercises.

Follow operation post-op instructions – usually to commence active-assisted elevation in neutral to 90° - external rotation to neutral only.

NB.  No isometric medial rotation and anterior deltoid for 2 weeks. Can start external rotation in neutral 30 % Maximal Voluntary Contraction.

Can commence active external rotation from day 1 post-op if pain and muscle control allows to neutral for 2/52.  No passive mobilisation into E.R. until 6/52.

Review by clinical specialist at 2/52 post-op in clinical specialist shoulder clinic at RSH, to be booked before discharged by ward staff.


  • 2-6 weeks

2/52 can commence static/isometric rotator cuff strengthening in neutral. Progress to isometrics thro range.

Commence 0-90° active assisted elevation and active lateral rotation beyond neutral as pain and active control allow.

3/52 – 6/52.  Progress active assisted to active elevation >90° as pain and control allow.

NB. Concentrate on quality of movement.


  • 6 weeks

 Can progress to active-assisted in all directions from 6/52.Please discuss with Catherine Howard / Debbie Prince if want to progress sooner.

Shoulder clinic review at 6/52, 3/12, 6/12 and 1 year.

Resisted light rotator cuff through range >4/52 onwards, if good control. Ensure good scapula upward rotation is maintained throughout movement. Use free weights ~I kilo and light bands

Progress to active controlled movement > 6/52 in all ranges, esp. abduction.

Can start weight bearing with good technique – avoid pec major over dominance. 4 pt kneeling, push up on gym ball on wall, push up plus if able

Use of kinetic chain to facilitate scapula control and normal movement.

Proprioceptive exercises 6/52 onwards


  • Return to work: Sedentary 4-6 weeks (as pain allows). Physical 3-6 months (as control and strength allows).


  • Driving:  6 weeks (as pain and range allows) patient confirms they are able to drive safely.


  • Sport:  Non contact 4-6 months. Contact 9-12 months


  • Swimming:  Gentle with modified stroke 6-8 weeks. Freestyle 12 weeks


Andrew Cole