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After Your Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery: 3 Months

This phase is about returning to normal confident use of your arm and progressing strengthening/resistance exercises.

Now that it’s been 3 months since my operation, do I need to do anything different? 

In order to get the very best out of your shoulder, you have the option to progress onto a higher level of exercises which we’ve provided at the bottom of the page.

My shoulder actually feels pretty good, do I need to do anymore? 

Ultimately, it is a choice for you to make, however, to truly get the best shoulder you can following your surgery, taking your rehabilitation onto the next level is the best option for most people.

OK, what is the next level of exercise all about? 

The next level of exercise is all about progressing resistance (pulling/pushing or lifting) and strength alongside building confidence and trust back in your shoulder.

Does this mean that I can go back to sport yet?

Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple.

As you will understand, different sports require different things from your shoulder.

To help simplify this, we’ve summarised things below.

  • Return to non-contact sports from 6 months
  • Return to contact sport from 9 months to 1 year

That seems like a long time to get back to sport. 

As physios, we understand and promote the benefits of being fit, healthy, strong and active and equally understand the frustration that some people might feel when having to wait so long to get back to their favourite sports.

The reason for delaying returns to sport is simply to make sure that your shoulder and the tendon repair are strong enough to cope with the demands of your sport.

What can I do to help make sure that I’m ready to get back to my sport?

This is a great question. If you explore the exercises below, you will hopefully see that some of them are more challenging than those you might have done in the earlier stages of your rehabilitation.

We’ve laid the exercises out so that you can see which ones might be an easier place to start and also where to progress to. Feel free to explore our videos to pick and choose the exercises that you like and might suit you better in terms of what you need for your sport.

Exercise videos

Exercise tip: You should aim to complete the exercises (as many or as few as you want to) about 3 to 4 times a week.

Each exercise should be completed between 8-12 times (or repetitions) for 3 to 4 sets. Make sure you have about 1 minute's rest in between each set.

 In order to change your muscles, you need to challenge them. In other words, you should really feel the effort with each set of exercises and should really not be able to do more than 12 each time around.

Advanced phase:

Download our blank gym programme here.

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