Rotator Cuff Repair Protocol (Small <2.5cm tear)

Weeks 0-2

Patient to do home exercises – pendulums, elbow/wrist ROM if appropriate
– Patient to remain in sling for 6 weeks post-op

Week 2-6

– Continue pendulums exercises as needed for pain.
– PROM only for 6 weeks post-op to protect healing repair
– Elbow AROM ok if no biceps tenodesis
– Grip strengthening and wrist AROM
– Posture re-education, neck ROM exercises as needed
– No canes or pulleys until 6 weeks post-op
– ROM goals 140° flexion; 50° ER at side
– Heat before PT; ice after PT

Week 6-12

– Begin AAROM at 6 weeks and progress to AROM at 10-12 weeks.
–  AROM performed with gravity eliminated first, and progress to against gravity by 12 weeks
– Continue previous AAROM and PROM exercises and techniques, focusing on end-range flexibility and restoring full ROM
– Begin scapular exercises without resistance through the shoulder
– Goals: Full PROM by 12 weeks; AROM elevation to 90° at 12 weeks
– Continue modalities as needed.

Week 12+

– Address any remaining ROM deficits
– Advance strengthening exercises as tolerated beginning with isometrics, and progressing to isotonics (start with
bands, and progress to free weights)
– Avoid abduction with arm extended with resistance
– Limit RTC strengthening exercises to 2-3x/week to avoid overuse and tendonitis
– 4-6 months – begin sport and work specific strengthening, plyometrics, proprioceptive training