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A Bone Graft to Rebuild Your Shoulder

If your shoulder is prone to recurrent dislocations, a surgery known as a Bankart procedure is often used to stabilize the joint. However, that surgery often fails because the repair is not strong enough or the shoulder socket is damaged. In that case, a shoulder bone graft may be required.


In a shoulder bone graft, the goal is to deepen and build up the rim (or “lip”) of the shoulder socket (the glenoid) to provide greater stability to the joint and give the shoulder muscles and tendons more to “hold onto.” The surgeon takes the necessary bone from your hip (specifically, the iliac crest, at the front near the belt line) and uses medical-grade screws to affix the graft into place at the front of the shoulder socket.


The surgery itself takes about two hours, but a hospital stay of two to four days is common. Postoperative management is very important. While recovering, you will learn the necessary range-of-motion rehabilitation exercises to be performed at home after you are discharged from the hospital.


For about six weeks, you will not be lifting heavy objects with the affected arm, but the range-of-motion (ROM) exercises are very important virtually from day one postoperatively to prevent the formation of scar tissue. At around week two, you can begin gentle day-to-day activities. After six weeks, strengthening exercises will usually be added, along with those that enhance flexibility.


We will monitor your progress periodically until your goals for strength and ROM are met, which can take several months or more. Even then, routine gentle stretching helps maintain your shoulder’s newly improved function. And progress can continue for up to a year after surgery.


Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
Tom Willemann

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