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Shoulder Surgery Rehabilitation Protocol

The Jean-Pierre Liotard (JPL) Technique


There are many different types of shoulder rehabilitation protocols following surgery. Dr. Raf Asaid utilises the technique first published by Dr. Jean-Pierre Liotard in Lyon, France. The following provides an easy-to-follow summary of the original technique.

Benefits of the JPL rehabilitation technique.

  • It allows passive range of motion as guided by you.
  • Your ‘good’ arm does all the work, with your fingers clasped together.
  • You will notice a gradual improvement over days to weeks.
  • Progress as your pain allows.
  • This technique is designed to use in conjunction with your physiotherapy treatment.
Shoulder surgery JPL rehab guidelines (click to download)

STAGE 0 (0-2 weeks)

  • Remain in sling: no shoulder physio
  • Can commence elbow/wrist/hand range of motion immediately after surgery

STAGE 1 (2 - 6 weeks)

  • Lying down, clasp fingers together and use your ‘good’ arm to raise the ‘bad’ arm from your abdomen towards your head (Pic 1)
  • Now try to raise both arms over your head and hold for 5 seconds (Pic 2)
  • Complete 5 repetitions, 5 times per day
  • Consider doing exercise when you’re out of the shower and your shoulder is warm

STAGE 2 (6 - 12 weeks)

  • Start sitting in a chair, then progress to standing when comfortable
  • Clasp fingers together and place your hands on your head and rest for a few seconds (Pic 3)
  • Now straighten your elbows and raise your hands above your head and hold for 5 seconds (Pic 4)
  • Bring your hands back down to your abdomen, with your elbows tucked in to your side (Pic 5). Take your hands out as wide as you can (Pic 6) and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Complete 5 repetitions, 5 times per day

STAGE 3 (12 weeks onwards)

  • Commence strengthening exercises as directed by your physiotherapist