Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Gary Schindler


Shoulder pain, Subacromial impingement syndrome, glenohumeral mobilizations, upper extremity guarding


Background and Purpose. Shoulder pain is the third most common complaint in the musculoskeletal system. Subacromial impingement syndrome consists of 44-65% of those complaints. This case study examines the effectiveness of physical therapy treatment following a right shoulder arthroscopy including a subacromial decompression, extensive intraarticular debridement, and subpectoral proximal biceps tenodesis in an outpatient orthopedic setting.

Case Description. This patient was a 57-year old male with past medical history of chronic shoulder and back pain. He presented to outpatient physical therapy post-operatively with right upper extremity guarding, pain, weakness, tenderness, and impaired functional mobility.

Intervention. Treatment addressed the patient’s impaired functional mobility and limitations. Interventions included right upper extremity range of motion, glenohumeral mobilizations, strength training, postural awareness activities and education, and functional exercises.

Outcomes. The patient increased right shoulder and elbow strength and range of motion and returned to all activities with few restrictions following physical therapy. He was discharged with no pain.

Discussion. The patient made progress consistently during physical therapy. More research on the etiology of subacromial impingement syndrome will be beneficial to provide the most effective post-operative treatment.