Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Schawnn Decker


Multi Level Spinal Fusion, Health Services for the Aged, Fusions, Spinal


Background and Purpose. This case study described the 9 week outpatient physical therapy rehabilitation process of a 75 year old female following a posterior thoracic spine (T9) to sacroiliac (S 1) spinal fusion as a result of adult degenerative scoliosis and prolonged back pain (Type 1 ). The purpose of this case report was to describe the overall outpatient physical therapy management of this post-operative fusion.

Description. The patient presented to physical therapy with decreased mobility, decreased function, decreased balance, lower extremity strength deficits, pain, and loss of independence.

Intervention. Initially, treatment occurred in a therapeutic pool and then progressed to a land based setting. Treatments involved therapeutic exercise, therapeutic activities, neuromuscular reeducation, gait training, and education.

Outcomes. Following PT intervention, the patient achieved all stated functional goals, increased LE strength, improved confidence in balance, and re-gained independence of ADLs.

Discussion. Rationale for treatment was based on the spine surgeon's protocol for multiple level spinal fusion, functional tasks the patient was unable to complete, and impairments based on the initial evaluation. The patient was able to improve function and mobility and regain independence following 9 weeks of outpatient physical therapy treatments.