Faculty Advisor(s)

Amy J. Litterini

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2019 Cody Hall


Background and Purpose: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the buildup of plaque in coronary blood vessels and is the most common type of heart disease in the United States. Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is an invasive surgical procedure used to provide alternate blood supply to cardiac tissue in individuals with CAD using autografts. The goals of the surgery are often to prolong life, reduce symptoms, improve functioning, and improve vocational status. The purpose of this case report was to document the outcomes of a physical therapy (PT) plan of care for a complex patient after undergoing CABG. Case Description: The patient was a 70-year-old male with evident CAD and many comorbidities including type II diabetes mellitus with peripheral neuropathy, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), current tobacco use disorder, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), obstructive sleep apnea, and chronic pain who underwent triple vessel CABG at a Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto, CA. A PT plan of care was implemented and based around the principles of early mobilization and functional mobility training. Outcomes: Following five sessions, the patient progressed from being unable to attempt any transfers/ambulation to completing all basic transfers and ambulating independently without an assistive device at discharge. He was discharged to home with no complications at two-week follow-up. Discussion: A PT plan of care that included early mobilization and functional mobility training appeared to be beneficial in timely hospital discharge for a patient post-CABG with many comorbidities. Future research that examines the effects of each comorbidity on CABG outcomes may improve the understanding of the specific needs of these patients.


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