Physical therapy following shoulder arthroplasty has been a common recommendation. However, there are no high quality studies addressing the frequency of physical therapy visits, the specific exercise recommendations, nor the timeframe for the introduction of exercises. One low quality study (Mulieri, et al) found no difference in outcome between formal physical therapy and a physician directed home program. However, this study did not define the formal physical therapy program and compliance with either program was not measured.
Strength of Evidence (quality of evidence): No reliable evidence
Future studies should evaluate the effect of physical therapy on outcomes following shoulder arthroplasty. A comparison of post-operative exercise protocols, number and timing of physical therapy visits, and method of delivery of physical therapy (physical therapist, physician, video) should be performed.