The 2-year results of a randomized, prospective, controlled trial of minimally displaced proximal humeral fractures treated either by immediate physiotherapy (group A) or after 3 weeks of immobilization (group B) are reported. At 1 year shoulder disability, as measured with the Croft shoulder disability questionnaire, was found in 42.8% of patients in group A and 72.5% in group B (P <.01). By 2 years, shoulder disability in group A remained unchanged (43.2%) but had reduced in group B (59.5%). This difference was not statistically significant. Immediate physiotherapy after a minimally displaced proximal humeral fracture results in faster recovery, with maximal functional benefit being achieved at 1 year. Delayed rehabilitation by 3 weeks of shoulder immobilization produces a slower recovery, which continues for at least 2 years after the time of injury.