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The Official Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association *
Aquatic Section
The Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy *
Volume 6 No. 2 November, 1998

Aquatic Physical Therapy Case Report:

Rehabilitation of a Patient with a Supraspinatus Tear By Aquatic Therapeutic Home Exercises
Simone L. Palmer, PT
Abstract
Purpose: To describe the successful, non-surgical rehabilitation of MRI-documented rotator cuff tear.
Subject: A 78 year-old Caucasian female sustained a right supraspinatus tear status-post head-on motor vehicle collision.
Methods: An orthopedic physical therapy evaluation was performed including three baseline measures prior to exercise prescription. An aquatic exercise program was instructed for independent, daily home application. In total, the patient was monitored for ten sessions at clinic. Exercises were progressed over a period of 3 1/2 months.
Results: Upon interval retestingo of baseline measures, the affected right shld. complex demonstrated improvement in joint mobility, muscle and grip strength. In a two-year follow-up, patient demonstrated overhand crawl stroke leading with previously debilitated shoulder.
Conclusions: Shoulder surgery was not a required intervention to return patient to pre-morbid status. Future clinical studies are recommended to explore non-surgical rehabilitation of rotator cuff tears by aquatic physicial therapy.


  
  
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