Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

David Relling


Clinical Decision-Making; Conservative Treatment; Decompression, Surgical; Shoulder Impingement Syndrome -- rehabilitation; Shoulder Impingement Syndrome -- therapy; Case Reports


Background and Purpose. Subacromial impingement syndrome (SAIS) is a common shoulder pathology. The purpose of this case report is to discuss the outcomes of subsequent physical therapy after operative treatment for SAIS and the clinical decision making involved in seeking surgical intervention.

Case Description. This case report describes a 54 y/o female who participated in eight weeks of physical therapy after undergoing shoulder decompression surgery while failing conservative physical therapy prior to surgical intervention.

Intervention. Physical therapy interventions were designed to strengthen the rotator cuff and shoulder, increase range of motion, decrease pain, and improve functional activity.

Outcomes. The patient increased strength, and range of motion to near normal limits, and had decreased pain and functional limitations.

Discussion. Physical therapy intervention after shoulder decompression surgery can improve strength, range of motion, pain, and functional activity. The patient would have benefitted from continued therapy for further improvements of strength and range of motion, but opted to continue therapy with a home exercise program. Further research is needed to determine early diagnostics to provide the most appropriate plan of care.