Elbow Rehabilitation


These exercises are designed to maintain elbow range of motion after upper limb surgery.
Joints that are immobilised in a plaster or ‘thermoplastic’ splint should NOT be exercised unless specifically instructed.

Dr Smith's rehab protocols are currently being reviewed and updated. Please contact the rooms for the latest version.

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ELEVATION IS NEVER RESTRICTED AND IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT

Elevation


  • Limitation of swelling is the most important thing you can do for yourself after surgery
  • After any operation on the shoulder, arm, wrist or hand, swelling will occur.
  • An ice pack wrapped in a tea towel applied to the top of the dressings will help in the first 24-48hrs
  • Elevating the hand as much as possible will also help and should be done whether you are standing, sitting or lying down:
  • When standing raise your hand in the sling
  • When seating elevate your hand on pillows or on the arm of the chair
  • When lying try any of the following (whatever you feel most comfortable):
    • Put your hand on a pillow on your chest
    • Build a stack of pillows by your side and put your hand on your chest
    • Keep your sling on and use it to prop your hand up

Elbow flexion


  • Bend the elbow until it feels tight.
  • Now bend it a little further with your other hand.
  • 10 repetitions per session
  • 4 sessions per day
Elbow Flexion Exercises Elbow Flexion Exercises

Elbow extension


  • Straighten the elbow until it feels tight
  • Now straighten it a little further with your other hand 10 repetitions per session
  • 4 sessions per day
Elbow Extension Exercises Elbow Extension Exercises

Pronation and supination


  • Keep your elbow tucked into your side.
  • Rotate your forearm so your palm faces downwards. Use the other hand to apply a further gentle stretch. 10 repetitions per session
  • 4 sessions per day
Elbow Pronation and Supination Exercises Elbow Pronation and Supination Exercises

Scar management


Once your stitches have been removed wait for 3 days then do the following:

Scar massage
  • Apply deep circular massage with firm pressure to the scar and surrounding area for 3 minutes
  • 4 sessions per day
  • You may use a moisturiser or vitamin E cream

Scar desensitisation
  • Lightly tap or stroke the scar for 30 seconds 4 sessions per day

PHONE
(02) 9587 4720

Sydney Orthopaedic Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery
Suite 5, Level 2
19 Kensington Street
Kogarah NSW 2217