SLAP Repair Protocol (Types II & IV)


*Adapted from James Bradley, MD

WEEKS 0-4 (Patient Responsibility):

Range of motion exercises should be performed starting the day after shoulder surgery; exercises are to be done 3 – 4 times a day, 15 repetitions each. The sling may or may not

need to be removed to exercise (depending on the brand). A portion of the exercise program requires the assistance of a friend or a family member.  This period of limited activity is critical for the healing of the soft tissues and promoting a shoulder without instability.

WEEKS 4-10 (Formal Physical Therapy Initiated):

  • Progressive passive range-of-motion to full, as tolerated in all planes
  • Begin passive posterior capsular and internal rotation stretching
  • Begin passive and manual scapulothoracic mobility program
  • Begin external rotation in abduction exercises
  • Begin protected biceps, rotator cuff and scapular stabilizer strengthening
  • Allow use of operative extremity for light activities of daily living
  • Discontinue sling and abductor pillow at 6 weeks

WEEKS 10-16:

  • Begin biceps, rotator cuff and scapular stabilizer resistance exercises
  • Begin sport-specific exercise program

WEEKS 16-24:

  • Continue stretching and strengthening programs with special emphasis on posterior capsular stretching

WEEKS 24-36:

  • Continue and complete Interval Throwing Program (Phase I, II, & III for pitchers; Phase I & II for infielders, outfielders and catchers)
  • Continue strengthening and posterior capsular stretching indefinitely. Occult posterior capsular tightness had a significant role in the original SLAP lesion; stretching this area will limit the chances of recurrence.
  • Return to sport at nine months if cleared by Dr. Burnham.

Complete Throwing Program booklet provided through this office.

Interested in Specialized Sports Medicine Care?

Interested in Specialized Sports Medicine Care?