Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

David Relling


Complex Regional Pain Syndromes -- therapy; Knee Injuries -- therapy; Knee Joint -- pathology; Case Reports


Background and Purpose: The surgical procedure known as a distal femoral osteotomy has been shown to be effective in treating valgus deformities of the knee with osteoarthritis in younger, active patients. But with any procedure, unsuspected complications such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) can make rehabilitation for the patients and their therapists challenging. This study focuses on taking a multifaceted approach to treating all of the underlying impairments of a patient with recurring knee pathologies and an underlying secondary diagnosis of CRPS.

Case Description: The patient is a 38-year-old female who has had multiple surgeries on her left knee, the most recent of which being a left distal femoral osteotomy. She has also experienced symptoms of CRPS after each of her surgeries, causing her to have muscle weakness and extreme sensitivity to touch in her left leg.

Discussion: The patient's CRPS made it difficult to perform any interventions that involved touching her skin. Thus, it was crucial to get her sensitivity under control in order to make significant progress in dealing with her other impairments. This case study demonstrates the importance of taking all of a patient's comorbidities into account when making a treatment plan.