Dr Graeme MacDougal

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General Information about Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is a necessary part of your recovery from surgery.

After surgery, recovery is best managed with a supervised rehabilitation programme.

The aim of rehabilitation is to restore function of the injured part.

Effective joint function requires range of motion, co-ordination of movement, strength and endurance.

The first focus is restoring range of motion. As range of motion improves, early joint control movement patterns can be developed.

As time progresses and range of motion improves, strengthening and endurance activities are developed.

This allows a progression to sport specific or work specific programmes to facilitate the maximum possible outcome from the rehabilitation process.

It should be noted that the rehabilitation process will vary depending on the operative procedure that is performed.

Hydrotherapy may be a valuable tool in restoring early range of motion and is frequently used.

Regular follow-ups during the rehabilitation phase are recommended, as adjustments along the recovery phase are necessary.

Prehabilitation or Pre-operative rehabilitation is often recommended prior to surgery. This allows familiarisation with the exercise programme and sling management required following surgery.

Practicing with these activities pre-operatively often reduces anxiety and as such improves the patient’s ability to comply with rehabilitation exercises after injury or surgery.

Analgesia is an important part of exercise programmes, as it is important to have good pain relief to allow you to effectively perform the exercises that are prescribed.


In summary, rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process from injury and/or surgery and needs to be carefully monitored

Should you have any further questions about rehabilitation for the particular procedure you are to undergo, please contact Dr MacDougal to discuss.

Graeme MacDougal Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon