Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Mark Romanick


Spinal Fusion -- rehabilitation; Whiplash Injuries -- therapy; Case Reports


Background and Purpose: The purpose of this case study is to report one patient's progress while attending physical therapy. This patient had undergone anterior surgical fusion of vertebrae C6-7 two months prior to physical therapy.

Case Description: This case is the story of a 46-year-old right-handed, English-speaking white male who had undergone a cervical fusion of C6-7 after a whiplash type injury. He had symptoms of hand numbness, cramping, and radiating pain with cervical movements. These symptoms caused difficulty for him to work, participate in recreational activities, and interact with his family.

Intervention: The patient was treated with exercise interventions to promote active and passive cervical range of motion with an emphasis on extension. He was also treated with myofascial release of his anterior chest.

Outcomes: After 11 treatments, the patient had improved cervical extension and left/right rotation. His pain was diminished and numbness remained with arm elevation.

Discussion: This patient's short term success can be a predictor of his long term success. The fact that he is a male, nonsmoker, and was in a state of general good health, are all positive factors in predicting future success.