Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Renee Mabey


Aged; Conservative Treatment; Knee Injuries -- therapy; Middle Aged; Osteoarthritis -- therapy; Case Reports


Background and Purpose: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition in people over 50. Although there may be an association between acute knee injuries and knee OA later in life, the occurrence of acute knee injuries in patients with existing OA is less clear. The purpose of this case study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an impairment based therapy program in an individual with an acute knee injury and knee OA.

Case Description: This case follows a 57 year old male referred to physical therapy with an acute knee sprain and tri-compartmental knee OA. Treatment lasted 7 sessions spanned over 4 weeks.

Intervention: Intervention was impairment and function based and emphasized strength, balance, range of motion, manual therapy, and functional training.

Outcomes: Improvements were seen in strength, balance, range of motion, and function. The improvement seen were relatively small as the individual presented with good strength and limited range on the affected side.

Discussion and Conclusion: In addition to patient outcomes, strengths of this case study are individualized therapy interventions and emphasis on balance and lower extremity strengthening. Some limitations to this study are an initial patient presentation with minor impairments, a lack of full reassessment at completion of treatment, and a short therapy intervention. Impairment based physical therapy is an effective means for treating older individuals with acute knee injuries and concomitant knee OA.