In order to determine which variables influence recovery from acoustic neuroma resection, acutely postoperative patients were divided into two groups and treated twice daily at bedside as inpatients at a tertiary care center. Treatment times were increased gradually from 5 to 30 min. Exercise subjects underwent passive and active head movements and walking with augmented head movements. Control subjects received attention without exercise. Pre- and post-tests included vertigo intensity and frequency, low-frequency vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), posturography and path integration. Post-tests were given at discharge and at approximately 4-week intervals for 3 months. Multilevel statistical analyses showed that neither group assignment nor age affected the outcome. All measures were abnormal at discharge but improved towards normal within 3 weeks. VOR on the unoperated side returned to normal values but on the lesioned side did not. Therefore, compensation is influenced by tumor size but not by age or early postoperative vestibular rehabilitation. Most compensation occurs within 3 weeks, probably due to central mechanisms, although some measures may not recover completely.