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Hardy Blogs
Matt Hardy

Case Study of a Client – Shoulder dislocation and surgery…

Welcome back to the blog. Thank you for taking time to read this success story of one of my recent clients. Its never too late to give rehabilitation another chance…

Who was the client?

A man in his early 30’s

Why did he come to see me?

He dislocated his shoulder when he was 18, over the last 10-12 years he has had numerous surgeries to try and stabilise his shoulder. Unfortunately, non of these had worked and the rehab he had been given in the past was very limited.

How long did we work together?

4 months

What were we trying to achieve?

As much range of movement as possible, good power and minimal pain.

What did we do?

The first stage was to make sure that he could use his full range of movement he had available. After having 5 operations he has quite a bit of scar tissue at the front of his shoulder, so we did see, and he will always have some restriction with his shoulder range due to this.

Initially, to use this range of movement we got him to work his shoulder in a horizontal position with a very small weight. This was to give him confidence he could move in the range but also to start to stabilise the shoulder in those positions without having to work as hard against gravity.

Once he had the range in a horizontal position we progressed to pushing and pulling exercises in a horizontal position. For this, we used a close elbow (in style) bench press and a rowing exercise with him laid on his front, whilst at the same time increasing the weight we were using for his shoulder range of movement exercises. Over the next month we increased the weight and used different equipment in the gym to build stability and strength to his shoulder.

After 3 weeks he had progressed well and we then started to add in some pull down exercises and at 4 weeks we had enough stability and strength to start some very light over head pressing.

His pain started to settle after the first month and at 6 weeks he saw his surgeon who discharged him from his care as he felt confident that with further rehab he wouldn’t need surgery. What progress!

He has gone from strength to strength and is now pressing heavy weights above his head, using slam balls and medicine balls to do throwing exercises and finally back to using a punch bag for fitness. This is something he hasn’t been able to do regularly for 10 years!

All in all he’s doing great, we’ve reached our goals of no surgery, reduced pain and improved function.

He now has a long term plan that he can complete independently and I will act as a guide when needed. Either via the phone, email or if necessary in person. He is now back to sport and self managing.

What do we learn from this?

Firstly that operations are only ever as good as the rehab that follows. Secondly an operation isn’t the answer to everything and can actually leave you in a worse position. Third and final thing – its never too late to rehab!

If this has encouraged you to give rehab a chance, please feel free to call or email me. You can also book online via the links on the site.

Thanks again for reading


Hardy Performance Physiotherapy is a private physiotherapy service that offers high quality rehabilitation for acute and long term conditions, based in Warwick and Southam, Warwickshire.