Rehabilitation after a surgery is a science and an art. The science of rehabilitation relies on a firm understanding of the body’s normal response to injury and trauma. The art of rehabilitation rests in the clinician’s ability to interpret the individual patient’s unique signs and symptoms. The ability to formulate a plan of care that maximizes an individual’s healing potential relies on the ability to blend the science and the art of rehabilitations.
Phase I (4 weeks after surgery)
- Surgical site protection.
- Proper use of the cervical collar per physician order.
- Do not pick up or carry anything heavier than 2 Kg.
- Do not sleep with arms over head.
- Avoid sitting or standing for prolonged period of time (change positions frequently).
- Gradually increase walking time.
- Gentle upper extremity active range of motion to the elbow in Flexion – Extension (as well as to the wrist & fingers). Below 90 degree of shoulder elevation. (Do not to lift and move his or her arms excessively about 90 degrees.)
- Passive range of motion to shoulder above 90 degrees.
- Begin strengthening deep neck flexors.
Phase II (week 4 -week 8)
- Corner stretch.
- Wall angels.
- Chin tucks.
- Shoulder shrugs.
- Scapular retraction.
- Biceps curls using light weights.
- Active range of motion to cervical spines.
Phase III (week 9 – week 12)
- Continue with previous exercise and progress repetitions, weight, or sets as tolerated.
- Begin gentle upper extremity strengthening above 90 degree of shoulder elevation.
- Scapular retraction with light resistance.
- Wall push – ups.
- Triceps push down using light resistance.
Latissimus pull- downs using light resistance.