Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Mark Romanick


Rotator Cuff Injuries -- complications; Rotator Cuff Injuries -- therapy; Case Reports


Background & Purpose: The purpose of this case study is to describe the plan of care that was completed despite interruption from multiple complications. Interrupted therapy has not been explored in research even though it is something physical therapists encounter often.

Case Description: This 45-year-old patient went through a right rotator cuff repair surgery followed by physical therapy to regain functional use of her shoulder. Her therapy was interrupted twice; first by her mother’s heart condition and then by her own neurological condition.

Intervention: The main component of treatment with this patient was range of motion exercises including passive, active-assistive, and active. Along with those activities the patient participated in ultrasound and exercise on the upper body ergometer.

Outcome: This particular patient did not recover as quickly as expected but still regained full passive motion of her shoulder. Also, the patient’s pain was decreased but not eliminated. The patient reported being able to perform daily activities more comfortably and hobby activities without much modification.

Discussion: Physical therapy rehabilitation is an important key in recovering from surgical intervention. If this therapy becomes interrupted, the patient’s recovery could be prolonged. This case study shows that interrupted therapy can cause a decrease in motion, which then needs to be regained when able to return to therapy.