Post-op rehabilitation program for arthroscopic capsular release or hydro-dilatation


Problem: frozen shoulder with reduced range of movement and shoulder pain


Aim: to increase range of movement and reduce pain

Important points: must move shoulder as soon as possible to avoid frozen shoulder returning.  Must be out of sling ASAP and as soon as the nerve block has worn off (for patients undergoing arthroscopic capsular release only)



  • nothing



  • driving from end of week one (if pain and function allows safe driving)
  • can begin to return to normal activities and work as pain allows.


Physiotherapy protocol day 1 onwards:

  • Ensure adequate pain relief, neurovascular status normal and no signs of infection
  • Begin active assisted exercises in all directions
  • Scapular setting exercises and isometric rotator cuff exercises
  • Pulley exercises and passive mobilisation stretches
  • Patient stretches in all directions, just in to discomfort zone
  • Begin manipulation joint mobilisation


Physiotherapy protocol day 7 onwards:

  • Progress passive and active range of movement exercises
  • Check scapular control throughout range
  • Strengthening programme if required


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