Faculty Advisor(s)

Kirsten Buchanan

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2015 Sarah Uzel


Background and Purpose: Acute alcoholic polyneuropathy (AAP) can present with a variety of symptoms including paresthesia and paralysis. There is little literature relating to physical therapy management and interventions for a patient with AAP. It is unclear what constitutes the best medical management and physical therapy practices for these patients. The purpose of this case report was to describe the clinical reasoning behind interventions selected for a patient with AAP in the acute setting. Case Description: The patient was a 33 year old male, who was diagnosed with AAP after two days in acute care. Intervention during the first two days included passive range of motion, active assisted exercises, and functional mobility one times a day for 45 minutes. After diagnosis, an aggressive practice of strengthening and transfer training occurred for the remaining three days in acute care. Outcomes: The patient demonstrated minor increases in bilateral dorsiflexion and hip flexor strength from 0/5 to 1/5 and 3/5 to 4/5 respectively. The patient made the greatest gains in transfer training using a slide board to transfer to a wheelchair and propelling himself 200 feet. By the end of five days, the patient was able to transfer with supervision to inpatient rehabilitation in a manual wheelchair. Discussion: AAP can occur over the course of weeks and can become immobilizing. This case report of a 33 year old male revealed minimal improvements over five days with an aggressive practice of strengthening, functional mobility, and transfer training. It is unclear whether medical management or physical therapy was responsible for these improvements. Future research is needed to determine whether physical therapy or medical management were responsible for returns in muscle strength and sensation.


The case report poster for this paper can be found here:




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