Goal: Regain strength and obtain functional range of motion (ROM).
- Active ROM exercises should be performed with the elbow close to the body to avoid excessive stretch of the reconstructed elbow collateral ligaments.
Phase I (0 to 3 days)
- Teach shoulder, wrist and hand ROM exercises
- Once dressings are removed POD #2, fit with elbow extension brace to be worn when not exercising and at night.
- Begin active ROM exercises for the elbow once dressings are removed. Exercise should be done 6 times per day for 15 minutes.
Phase II (4 to 14 days)
- Continue with ROM exercise of elbow and gradually increase range.
Phase III (2 to 5 weeks)
- Begin passive ROM exercises to elbow.
- Functional electrical stimulation (FES) may be begun to stimulate biceps or triceps.
Phase IV (6 to 7 weeks)
- Discontinue elbow extension splint during the day if elbow stability is adequate.
- Begin elbow ROM exercise with elbow away from body.
Phase V (8 to 12 weeks)
- Discontinue elbow extension splint at night.
- Initiate gradual, gentle strengthening exercises for hand and forearm. Light resistance may be begun to the elbow.
- Work on any deficits.