Rehabilitation of the In-Season and Postoperative Athlete


Rehabilitation of the In-Season and Postoperative Athlete

Kevin E. Wilk, PT, DPT and Lenny Macrina, MSPT, SCS, CSCS

Shoulder instability is a common pathology seen in athletes and in active individuals. The glenohumeral joint is the most commonly dislocated major joint in the human body. This is probably due to the inherent laxity and tremendous range of motion (ROM) exhibited by individuals along with the large amounts of stress applied to the shoulder joint. Thus, the glenohumeral joint is inherently unstable in many individuals. Mannava et al1 reported 15% of all players reporting to the National Football League Combine exhibited labral tears. Brophy et al2,3 stated it was the fourth most common procedure seen at the Combine. Furthermore, it is the fourth most common procedure performed in college football players.4

Following injury or surgery, we believe appropriate well-designed rehabilitation is essential to a successful outcome. The rehabilitation must be based on numerous factors (we will discuss those later), but perhaps the most important factor is a team approach to the rehabilitation program. The physician and the physical therapist must communicate regarding the type of surgery performed, concomitant procedures or lesions, and the surgeon’s overall impression regarding the rate of progression based on tissue quality, bone quality, etc. The specific factors will be discussed in this chapter.

In this chapter we will discuss the postoperative rehabilitation guidelines following specific surgical procedures such as Bankart repairs, Latarjet procedures, and remplissage procedure. In addition, we will discuss our return-to-play criteria for patients returning to sports and higher-level functional activities.


There are 9 key factors that should be considered when designing a rehabilitation program for a patient with shoulder instability (Table 14-1). We will briefly discuss these factors and their significance to the rehabilitation program.

Onset of Pathology

The first factor to consider in the rehabilitation of a patient with shoulder instability is the onset of the pathology. Shoulder instability may result from an acute event, a traumatic event, or from chronic recurrent episodes. The goal of the rehabilitation program may vary greatly based on the onset and mechanism of injury.

Following a traumatic subluxation or dislocation, the patient typically presents with significant tissue trauma, pain, muscle guarding, and apprehension. The first-time dislocation episode is generally more painful than recurrent episodes.

Conversely, a patient presenting with atraumatic or chronic instability often presents with a history of repetitive injuries and symptomatic complaints. Often the patient does not complain of a single instability episode but rather a feeling of shoulder laxity or an inability to perform specific tasks.

Degree of Instability

The second factor is the degree of instability present in the patient and its effect on his or her function. Varying degrees of shoulder instability exist such as a subtle subluxation to gross (uncontrollable) instability.

The term subluxation refers to the complete separation of the articular surfaces with spontaneous reduction. Conversely, a dislocation is a complete separation of the articular surfaces and requires a specific movement or manual reduction to relocate the joint. This will result in underlying capsular tissue trauma. Thus, with shoulder dislocations the degree of trauma to the glenohumeral joint’s bone and soft tissue is much more extensive.

Speer et al5 has reported that for a shoulder dislocation to occur, a Bankart lesion must be present. Furthermore, soft-tissue trauma must be present on both sides of the glenohumeral joint capsule. Thus, an acute traumatic dislocation, the anterior capsule may be avulsed off the glenoid (Bankart lesion) and the posterior capsule may be stretched, allowing the humeral head to dislocate. This has been referred to as the “circle stability concept” as described by Warren et al.6


The next factor to influence the rehabilitation program is the frequency of dislocation or subluxation. The primary traumatic dislocation is most often treated conservatively with immobilization in a sling and early controlled passive ROM (PROM) exercises, especially with first-time dislocations. The incidence of recurrent dislocation ranges from 17% to 96% with a mean of 67% in patient populations between ages 21 and 30 years.718 Therefore, the rehabilitation program should progress cautiously in young, athletic individuals.

It should be noted that Hovelius et al2629 has demonstrated that the rate of recurrent dislocations is based on the patient’s age and is not affected by the length of postinjury immobilization. Individuals between ages 19 and 29 years are the most likely to experience multiple episodes of instability. Hovelius et al10,1921 noted patients in their 20s exhibited a recurrence rate of 60% whereas patients in their 30s to 40s had less than a 20% recurrence rate. In adolescents, the recurrence rate is as high as 92%22 and 100% with an open physes.23

Chronic subluxations, as seen in the atraumatic, unstable shoulder, may be treated more aggressively because of the lack of acute tissue damage, less muscular guarding, and inflammation. Caution is placed on avoiding excessive stretching of the joint capsule through aggressive ROM activities. The goal is to return the patient’s ROM, enhance strength, proprioception, dynamic stability, and neuromuscular control. This is especially true in the specific points of motion or direction that results in instability complaints.

Direction of Instability

The fourth factor is the direction of instability present. The 3 most common forms include anterior, posterior, and multidirectional. Anterior instability is the most common traumatic type of instability seen in the general orthopedic population. It has been reported that this type of instability represents approximately 90% to 95% of all traumatic shoulder instabilities.15 However, the incidence of posterior instability appears to be dependent on the patient population.24 For example, in professional or collegiate football, the incidence of posterior shoulder instability appears higher than the general population. This is especially true in linemen because of the pushing methods employed during the blocking motion. Mair et al25 reported on 9 athletes with posterior instability, 8 of 9 of whom were linemen and 7 of whom were offensive linemen. Often, these patients require surgery, as Mair and colleagues25 also reported 75% required surgical stabilization. Kaplan and colleagues4 reported in a study of collegiate football players with shoulder instability that 78% required surgical stabilization. Overhead athletes undergoing a posterior labral repair are less likely to return to their preinjury levels of sport compared with contact athletes or the overall athletic population.26

Multidirectional instability (MDI) can be identified as shoulder instability in more than one plane of motion. Patients with MDI often have a congenital predisposition and exhibit ligamentous laxity due to excessive collagen elasticity of the capsule. Furthermore, Rodeo et al27 reported that this type of patient exhibits a greater concentration of elastin compared to collagen and also smaller-diameter collagen fibrils. The authors consider an inferior displacement of greater than 8 to 10 mm during the sulcus maneuver (Figure 14-1) with the arm adducted to the side as significant hypermobility, thus suggesting significant congenital laxity.28

Owing to the atraumatic mechanism and lack of acute tissue damage, ROM is often normal to excessive. Patients with recurrent shoulder instability due to MDI generally have weakness in the rotator cuff, deltoid, and scapular stabilizers with poor dynamic stabilization and inadequate static stabilizers.

Premorbid Tissue Status

The fifth factor involves considering other tissues that may have been affected and the premorbid status of the tissue. Disruption of the anterior capsulolabral complex from the glenoid commonly occurs during a traumatic injury resulting in an anterior Bankart lesion. Often osseous lesions may be present, such as a concomitant Hill-Sachs lesion caused by an impaction of the posterolateral aspect of the humeral head as it compresses against the anterior glenoid rim during relocation. This has been reported in up to 80% of dislocations.2931 Conversely, a reverse Hill-Sachs lesion may be present on the anterior aspect of the humeral head due to a posterior dislocation.32 Also, glenoid bone loss of approximately 20% to 25% after a dislocation is considered significant and may contribute to long-term instability episodes for the patient. Recent studies show that not even 15% to 17% glenoid bone loss may be a critical level, as well.3335

Occasionally, a bone bruise may be present in individuals who have sustained a shoulder dislocation thereby restricting upper extremity weight-bearing activities early on in the rehabilitation process. In rare cases of extreme trauma, the brachial plexus may become involved as well.36 Burkhart and De Beer37 reported some patients exhibited a bony defect or inverted-pear–shaped glenoid resulting in recurrent instability if not accurately identified or properly treated. Other common injuries in the unstable shoulder may involve the superior labrum (SLAP lesion) such as a type V SLAP lesion characterized by a Bankart lesion of the anterior capsule extending into the anterior superior labrum.38 Injuries to the rotator cuff may also be observed and significantly affect the rehabilitation progression and long-term function of the patient. These concomitant lesions will affect the rehabilitation significantly to protect the healing tissue.

Neuromuscular Control

The sixth factor to consider is the patient’s level of neuromuscular control, particularly at end range. Neuromuscular control may be defined as the efferent, or motor output in reaction to an afferent, or sensory input.13,28 The afferent input is the ability to detect the glenohumeral joint position and motion in space with resultant efferent response by the dynamic stabilizers as they blend with the joint capsule to assist in stabilization of the humeral head. Injury with resultant insufficient neuromuscular control could result in deleterious effects to the patient. As a result, the humeral head may not center itself within the glenoid, thereby compromising the surrounding static stabilizers. The patient with poor neuromuscular control may exhibit excessive humeral head migration with the potential for injury, an inflammatory response, and reflexive inhibition of the dynamic stabilizers.

Several authors have reported that neuromuscular control of the glenohumeral joint may be negatively affected by joint instability. Lephart et al13 compared the ability to detect passive motion and the ability to reproduce joint positions in normal, unstable, and surgically repaired shoulders. The authors reported a significant decrease in proprioception and kinesthesia in the shoulders with instability when compared both to normal shoulders and shoulders undergoing surgical stabilization procedures. Smith and Brunolli39 reported a significant decrease in proprioception following a shoulder dislocation. Blasier and colleagues40 reported that individuals with significant capsular laxity exhibited a decrease in proprioception compared to patients with normal laxity. Zuckerman et al41 noted that proprioception is affected by the patient’s age, with older patients exhibiting diminished more proprioception than a comparably younger population. Thus, the patient presenting with traumatic or acquired instability may present with poor proprioception and neuromuscular control.


Figure 14-1. Sulcus maneuver to assess inferior capsular laxity.

Arm Dominance

The seventh factor to consider in the nonoperative rehabilitation of the unstable shoulder is the arm dominance and the desired activity level of the patient. If the patient frequently performs an overhead motion or sporting activities such as a tennis, volleyball, or a throwing sport, then the rehabilitation program should include sport-specific dynamic stabilization exercises, neuromuscular control drills, and Plyometric exercises in the overhead position once full, pain-free ROM, and adequate strength has been achieved. Patients whose functional demands involve below-shoulder–level activities will follow a progressive exercise program to return full ROM and strength. The success rates of patients returning to overhead sports after a traumatic dislocation of their dominant arm are extremely low.42,43 Arm dominance can also significantly influence the successful outcome. The recurrence rates of instabilities vary based on age, activity level, and arm dominance. In athletes involved in collision sports, the recurrence rates have been reported between 86% and 94%.8,4447

Patient Age

The next factor is the age of the patient. Younger patients (ages 17 to 24 years) tend to exhibit a lesion different from older patients (older than 40 years). Younger patients usually exhibit a Bankart lesion, and some may even exhibit a humeral avulsion of the glenohumeral ligament lesion. Conversely, older patients may exhibit an anterior labral periosteal avulsion lesion.48 The patient’s age is a significant prognostic factor for recurrent instability and generally a very important consideration for treatment.

Patient Goals

The ninth, and maybe the most critical factor, is the activity level and type of activities the patient desires to return to once full ROM and strength are obtained. Patients who desire to return to strenuous and aggressive activities, especially overhead or involving contact sports, should undergo surgical repair if a capsulolabral lesion is present. In contrast, inactive patients or patients with low-risk activities may be able to be treated successfully without surgery.


Patients may be classified into 2 common forms of shoulder instability: traumatic and atraumatic. Specific guidelines to consider in the rehabilitation of each patient population will be outlined. A 4-phase rehabilitation program will be discussed for traumatic shoulder instability, followed by an overview of variations and key rehabilitation principles for atraumatic (congenital) laxity.

Traumatic Shoulder Instability

Phase I, Acute Phase

Following a first-time traumatic shoulder dislocation or subluxation, the patient often presents in considerable pain, muscle spasm, and an acute inflammatory response. Patients usually self-limit their motion by guarding the injured extremity in an internally rotated and adducted position against the side of their body to protect the injured shoulder. The goals of the acute phase are to 1) diminish pain, inflammation, and muscle-guarding; 2) promote and protect healing soft tissues; 3) prevent the negative effects of immobilization; 4) reestablish baseline dynamic joint stability; and 5) prevent further damage to the glenohumeral joint capsule (Table 14-2).

We allow immediate limited and controlled motion following a traumatic dislocation in some patients (ages 18 to 28 years) but immobilize patients ages 29 to 45 years. However, motion is restricted so as not to cause further tissue attenuation. A short period of immobilization in a sling to control pain and to allow scar tissue to form for enhanced stability may be necessary for 7 to 14 days although no long-term benefits regarding recurrence rates and immobilization have been made in patients ages 17 to 29 years.10,49 Individuals older than 29 years are usually immobilized for 2 to 4 weeks to allow scarring of the injured capsule. The ideal position in which to immobilize the glenohumeral has traditionally been in internal rotation with the arm close to the body. Potential complications with immobilization may include a decrease in joint proprioception, muscle disuse and atrophy, and a loss of ROM in specific age groups. Therefore, prolonged use of immobilization following a traumatic dislocation may not be recommended in all patients.

PROM is initiated in a restricted and protected range based on the patient’s symptoms. Early motion is intended to promote healing, enhance collagen organization, stimulate joint mechanoreceptors, and aid in decreasing the patient’s pain through neuromuscular modulation.17,5052 Pain-free active-assisted ROM (AAROM) exercises such as pendulums and external/internal rotation at 45 degrees of abduction using an L-bar (Breg Corp) may also be initiated. PROM exercises are also performed in a pain-free arc of motion. In addition, passive/active joint positioning is also performed in a restricted motion. Modalities such as ice, low-level laser, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation may also be beneficial to decrease pain, inflammation, and muscle guarding.

Strengthening exercises are initially performed through submaximal, pain-free isometric contractions to initiate muscle recruitment and retard muscle atrophy. Electrical stimulation of the posterior cuff musculature may also be incorporated to enhance this muscle-fiber–recruitment process early on in the rehabilitation process and also in the next phase when the patient initiates isotonic strengthening activities (Figure 14-2). Reinold et al53 stated that the use of electrical stimulation may improve force production of the rotator cuff, particularly the external rotators, immediately after an acute injury.

Dynamic stabilization exercises are also performed to reestablish dynamic joint stability. The patient maintains a static position as the rehabilitation specialist performs manual rhythmic stabilization drills to facilitate muscular co-contractions. These manual rhythmic stabilization drills are performed for the shoulder internal and external rotators in the scapular plane at 30 degrees of abduction and are performed at pain-free angles that do not compromise the healing capsule. Rhythmic stabilizations for flexion and extension may also be performed with the shoulder at 100 degrees of flexion and 10 degrees of horizontal abduction. Strengthening exercises are also performed for the scapular retractors and depressors to reposition the scapula in its proper position. Scapula strengthening is critical for successful rehabilitation.

Closed kinetic-chain exercises such as weight-shifting on a ball are performed to produce a co-contraction of the surrounding glenohumeral musculature and to facilitate joint mechanoreceptors to enhance proprioception. Weight shifts are usually able to be performed immediately following the injury unless posterior instability or an articular cartilage lesion (bone bruise) is present.

Table 14-2. Traumatic Dislocation Protocol

Nonoperative rehabilitation for traumatic dislocation of the shoulder

The program will vary in length for each individual depending on several factors:

1. Severity and onset of symptoms

2. Degree of instability symptoms

3. Direction of instability

4. Concomitant pathologies

5. Age and activity level of patient

6. Arm dominance

7. Desired goals and activities

I.   Phase I, acute motion phase

Goals: Protect healing capsular structures

Reestablish nonpainful ROM

Decrease pain, inflammation, and muscular spasms

Retard muscular atrophy/establish voluntary muscle activity

Reestablish dynamic stability

Improve proprioception

**During the early rehabilitation program, caution must be applied in placing the capsule under stress until dynamic joint stability is restored. It is important to refrain from activities in extreme ROM early in the rehabilitation process.

Decrease pain/inflammation

Sling or ER brace for comfort and depending on age of patient (physician’s preference)

• Therapeutic modalities (ice, TENS, etc)


• Gentle joint mobilizations (grades I to II) for pain neuromodulation

*Do not stretch injured capsule.

ROM exercises

• Gentle ROM only, no stretching

• Pendulums

• Rope and pulley

Elevation in scapular plane to tolerance

• Active-assisted ROM L-bar to tolerance


IR with arm in scapular plane at 30 degrees of ABD

ER with arm in scapular plane at 30 degrees of ABD

– Motion is performed in nonpainful arc of motion only*

**Do not push into ER or horizontal ABD with anterior instability.**

**Avoid excessive IR or horizontal ADD with posterior instability.**

• Strengthening/PRN exercises

• Isometrics (performed with arm at side)




IR (multiangles)

ER (multiangles)


Scapular retract/protract, elevate/depress (seated manual resist)

*E-stim may be used to ER during isometrics

• Rhythmic stabilizations

ER/IR in scapular plane (pain-free multiangles)

Flex/Ext in scapular plane(pain-free angles, multiangles)

• Weight shifts, standing hands on table (CKC exercises) (anterior instability only)

• Proprioception training drills, -active joint reproduction proprioceptive drills (ER, IR, flex)

II.  Phase II, intermediate phase

Goals: Regain and improve muscular strength

Normalize arthrokinematics

Enhance proprioception and kinesthesia

Enhance dynamic stabilization

Improve neuromuscular control of shoulder complex

Criteria to progress to phase II

1. Nearly full to full passive ROM (ER may be still limited)

2. Minimal pain or tenderness

3. “Good” MMT of IR, ER, flexion, and ABD

4. Baseline proprioception and dynamic stability

• Progress ROM activities at 90 degrees of ABD to tolerance (pain-free)

• Initiate isotonic strengthening

• Emphasis on ER and scapular strengthening

ER/IR Tubing

Scaption raises (full can)

Abduction to 90 degrees

Sidelying external rotation to 45 degrees

Standing ER with tubing with manual resistance

Hand on ball against wall resistance stabilization

Prone extension to neutral

Prone horizontal ADD

Prone rowing

Lower and middle trapezius

Sidelying neuromuscular exercise drills

Push-ups onto table

Seated manual scapular resistance

Biceps curls

Triceps pushdowns

E-stim may be used to ER during exercises.

• Improve neuromuscular control of shoulder complex

Initiation of PNF

Rhythmic stabilization drills

ER/IR at 90 degrees abduction (limit degree of ER)

Flexion/extension/horizontal at 100 degrees flexion, 10 degrees horizontal ABD

Progress to mid- and end-ROM

Progress OKC program


Manual resistance ER (supine → sidelying → eccentrics, prone row

ER/IR tubing with stabilization

Progress CKC exercises with rhythmic stabilizations

Wall stabilization on ball

Hand on wall, wall circles for rotator cuff endurance

Hand on wall, side-to-side motion for scapular muscles and deltoid

Static holds in push-up position on ball

Push-ups on tilt board


Abdominal strengthening

Trunk strengthening/low back

Gluteal strengthening

• Continue use of modalities (as needed)

Ice, electrotherapy modalities

III. Phase III, advanced strengthening phase

Goals: Improve strength/power/endurance

Improve neuromuscular control

Enhance dynamic stabilizations

Prepare patient/athlete for activity

Criteria to progress to phase III

1. Full nonpainful range of motion

2. No palpable tenderness

3. Continued progression of resistive exercises

4. Good: normal muscle strength, dynamic stability, neuromuscular control

• Continue use of modalities (as needed)

• Continue isotonic strengthening (progress resistance)

Continue thrower’s ten

Progress to end-range stabilization drills

Progress to full ROM strengthening

Progress to bench press in restricted ROM (restrict horizontal abduction ROM)

Progress to flat and incline chest press (weighted) restrict motion

Program to seated rowing and lateral pull-down (in front) in restricted ROM

• Emphasize PNF

• Manual D2 with rhythmic stabilization at 45, 90, and 145 degrees

• Advanced neuromuscular control drills (for athletes)

Ball flips on table

ER tubing at 90-degree ABD with manual resistance and rhythmic stabilization at end range

Push-ups on ball/rocker board with rhythmic stabilizations

Manual scapular neuromuscular control drills

Initiate perturbation activities (ER with exercise tubing with end-range rhythmic stab)

Endurance training

Timed bouts of exercises: 30 to 60 seconds

Increase number of repetitions (sets of 15 to 20 repetitions)

Multiple bouts throughout day (3×)

Initiate Plyometric training

2-handed drills:

Chest-pass throw

Side-to-side throw

Overhead soccer throw

Progress to 1-handed drills:

90/90 baseball throws

Wall dribbles

90/90 baseball throws against wall

**Continue to avoid excessive stress on joint capsule.**

IV. Phase IV, return to activity phase

Goals: Maintain optimal level of strength/power/endurance

Progressively increase activity level to prepare patient/athlete for full functional return to activity/sport

Criteria to progress to phase IV

1. Full ROM

2. No pain or palpable tenderness

3. Satisfactory isokinetic test

4. Satisfactory clinical exam

• Continue all exercises as in phase III

• Progress isotonic strengthening exercises

• Resume normal lifting program (Physician will determine)

• Initiate interval sport program (as appropriate)

• Continue modalities: ice, e-stim, etc (as needed)

• Consider GH joint stabilizing brace for contact sports


• Isokinetic test (ER/IR and ABD/ADD)

• Progress interval program

• Maintenance of exercise program

Abbreviations: ABD, abduction; ADD, adduction; CKC, closed-kinetic chain; ER, external rotation; e-stim, electrical stimulation; GH, glenohumeral; IR, internal rotation; MMT, manual muscle testing; NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; OKC, open-kinetic chain; PNF, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation; ROM, range of motion; TENS, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Phase II, Intermediate Phase

During the intermediate phase, the program emphasizes regaining full ROM along with progressing strengthening exercises of the rotator cuff, reestablishing the muscular balance of the glenohumeral joint, scapular stabilizers, and surrounding shoulder muscles. Before the patient enters phase II certain criteria must be met, including diminishing pain and inflammation, satisfactory static stability, and adequate neuromuscular control.


Figure 14-2. Electrical stimulation to the posterior rotator cuff during exercise activity to improve muscle fiber recruitment and contraction.

To achieve the desired goals of this phase, PROM is performed to the patient’s tolerance with the goal of attaining nearly full ROM. AAROM exercises using a rope and pulley along with flexion and external/internal rotation exercises at 90 degrees of abduction using an L-bar may be progressed to tolerance without stressing the involved tissues. External rotation at 90 degrees of abduction is generally limited to 65 to 70 degrees to avoid overstressing the healing anterior capsuloligamentous structures for approximately 4 to 8 weeks but eventually increasing to full ROM as the patient tolerates.

Isotonic strengthening exercises are also initiated during this phase. Emphasis is placed on increasing the strength of the internal and external rotators and scapular muscles to maximize dynamic stability. The ultimate goal of the strengthening phase is to reestablish muscular balance following the injury. Kibler et al12 noted that scapular position and strength deficits have been shown to contribute to glenohumeral joint instability. Exercises initially include external and internal rotation with exercise tubing at 0 degrees of abduction along with sidelying external rotation and prone rowing. During the latter part of this phase, exercises are progressed to include the “Progressive isotonic strengthening program” (Table 14-3) to emphasize rotator cuff and scapulothoracic muscle strength (Figure 14-3). Manual resistive exercises such as sidelying external rotation and prone rowing may also prove beneficial by having the clinician vary the resistance throughout the ROM. Incorporating manual concentric and eccentric manual exercises and rhythmic stabilization drills at end range to enhance neuromuscular control and dynamic stability is also recommended (Figure 14-4).


Figure 14-3. Sidelying manual external rotation while the clinician imparts rhythmic stabilization drills at end range.


Figure 14-4. Manual rhythmic stabilization drills: external rotation/internal rotation rhythmic stabilization in neutral rotation to promote a co-contraction and improve dynamic stability.

Closed kinetic-chain exercises are progressed to include hand on the wall stabilization drills in the plane of the scapular at shoulder height as the patient tolerates (Figure 14-5). Push-ups are performed first with hands on a table then progressed to a push-up on a ball or unstable surface while the rehabilitation specialist performs rhythmic stabilizations to the involved and uninvolved upper extremity along with the trunk to integrate dynamic stability and core strengthening (tilt board, ball, etc) (Figure 14-6). Caution should be taken while performing closed kinetic-chain exercises in patients with posterior instability for 6 to 8 weeks to allow for adequate tissue healing and strength gains. Furthermore, patients with significant scapular winging should perform push-ups with a plus54 until adequate scapular strength is accomplished. Core stabilization drills should also be performed to enhance scapular control. Additionally, strengthening exercises may be advanced in regards to resistance, repetitions, and sets as the patient improves. End range rhythmic stabilization drills with the arm at 0 degrees of adduction or at 45 degrees of abduction are also performed. We refer to these exercises as perturbation drills. Exercises such as tubing with manual resistance and end-range rhythmic stabilization drills are also performed (Figure 14-7). The goal of these exercise drills is to improve proprioception and neuromuscular control at end range. Often these exercises are performed seated on a stability ball to recruit core, hip, and scapular muscles as the patient attempts to maintain good stability and posture.

Table 14-3. Progressive Isotonic Strengthening Program

This program is designed to exercise the major muscles of the shoulder joint. The program’s goal is to be an organized and concise exercise program. In addition, all exercises included are specific to improve strength, power, and endurance of the shoulder complex musculature.
1. Diagonal pattern D2 flexion: Gripping tubing handle in hand of involved arm, begin with arm out from side 45 degrees and palm facing backward. After turning palm forward, proceed to flex elbow and bring arm up and over involved shoulder. Turn palm down and reverse to take arm to starting position. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


2. (A) External rotation at 0 degrees of abduction: Stand with involved elbow fixed at side, elbow at 90 degrees and involved arm across front of body. Grip tubing handle while the other end of tubing is fixed. Pull out arm, keeping elbow at side. Return tubing slowly and controlled. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


2. (B) Internal rotation at 0 degrees of abduction: Stand with elbow at side fixed at 90 degrees and shoulder rotated out. Grip tubing handle while other end of tubing is fixed. Pull arm across body keeping elbow at side. Return tubing slowly and controlled. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


3. Shoulder abduction to 90 degrees: Stand with arm at side, elbow straight, and palm against side. Raise arm to the side, palm down, until arm reaches 90 degrees (shoulder level). Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


4. Scaption, external rotation: Stand with elbow straight and thumb up. Raise arm to shoulder level at 30-degree angle in front of body. Do not go above shoulder height. Hold 2 seconds and lower slowly. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


5. Sidelying external rotation: Lie on uninvolved side, with involved arm at side of body and elbow bent to 90 degrees. Keeping the elbow of involved arm fixed to side, raise arm. Hold 2 seconds and lower slowly. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


6. (A) Prone horizontal abduction (neutral): Lie on table, face down, with involved arm hanging straight to the floor, and palm facing down. Raise arm out to the side, parallel to the floor. Hold 2 seconds and lower slowly. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


6. (B) Prone horizontal abduction (full ER, 100 degrees ABD): Lie on table face down, with involved arm hanging straight to the floor, and thumb rotated up (hitchhiker). Raise arm out to the side with arm slightly in front of shoulder, parallel to the floor. Hold 2 seconds and lower slowly. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


6. (C) Prone rowing: Lie on your stomach with your involved arm hanging over the side of the table, dumbbell in hand and elbow straight. Slowly raise arm, bending elbow, and bring dumbbell as high as possible. Hold at the top for 2 seconds, then slowly lower. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


6. (D) Prone rowing into external rotation: Lie on your stomach with your involved arm hanging over the side of the table, dumbbell in hand and elbow straight. Slowly raise arm, bending elbow, up to the level of the table. Pause 1 second. Then rotate shoulder upward until dumbbell is even with the table, keeping elbow at 90 degrees. Hold at the top for 2 seconds, then slowly lower, taking 2 to 3 seconds. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


7. Press-ups: Seated on a chair or table, place both hands firmly on the sides of the chair or table, palm down and fingers pointed outward. Hands should be placed equal with shoulders. Slowly push downward through the hands to elevate your body. Hold the elevated position for 2 seconds and lower body slowly. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


8. (A) Seated rowing: While seated in a chair, grip the handles of a cable pulley or of tubing fixed in front of you with your elbows in at your side. Pull elbows back, until in line with your trunk, squeezing shoulder blades together. Slowly return to starting position. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.
8. (B) Seated machine bench press (restricted motion): While in the seated position, grip the handles of the machine and extend the elbows straight forward, pause then return back to the starting position. Avoid extending beyond the plane of the body to avoid excessive capsular stress. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.
8. (C) Latissimus dorsi pull-down (restricted motion): Sit at a lat pulldown machine and grip the bar just wider than shoulder width. Recline the upper body back approximately 45 degrees, pull bar to chest, then return to starting position. Do not allow the elbows to go beyond the plane of the body while pulling the bar to the chest. Also, avoid extending the elbows completely when returning to the starting position. Perform _____ sets of ______ repetitions ______ times daily.
9. Push-ups: Start in the down position with arms in a comfortable position. Place hands no more than shoulder width apart. Push up as high as possible, rolling shoulders forward after elbows are straight. Start with a push-up into wall. Gradually progress to table top and eventually to floor as tolerable. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


10. (A) Elbow flexion: Standing with arm against side and palm facing inward, bend elbow upward turning palm up as you progress. Hold 2 seconds and lower slowly. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


10. (B) Elbow extension (abduction): Raise involved arm overhead. Provide support at elbow from uninvolved hand. Straighten arm overhead. Hold 2 seconds and lower slowly. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


11. (A) Wrist extension: Supporting the forearm and with palm facing downward, raise weight in hand as far as possible. Hold 2 seconds and lower slowly. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


11. (B) Wrist flexion: Supporting the forearm and with palm facing upward, lower a weight in hand as far as possible and then curl it up as high as possible. Hold for 2 seconds and lower slowly. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


11. (C) Supination: Forearm should be supported on table with wrist in neutral position. Using a weight or hammer, roll wrist taking palm up. Hold for a 2-count and return to starting position. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


11. (D) Pronation: Forearm should be supported on table with wrist in neutral position. Using a weight or hammer, roll wrist taking palm down. Hold for a 2-count and return to starting position. Perform _____ sets of _____ repetitions _____ times daily.


Abbreviation: ABD, abduction.

Jul 27, 2021 | Posted by in ORTHOPEDIC | Comments Off on Rehabilitation of the In-Season and Postoperative Athlete
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