Faculty Advisor(s)

G. Noel Squires



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According to the Aquatic Physical Therapy Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, aquatic physical therapy is the evidence-based and skilled practice of physical therapy in an aquatic environment by a physical therapist, and includes interventions designed to improve or maintain: function, aerobic capacity/endurance conditioning, balance, coordination and agility, body mechanics and postural stabilization, flexibility, gait and locomotion, relaxation, muscle strength, power, and endurance. Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty (rTSA) is designed specifically for the treatment of glenohumeral (GH) arthritis when it is associated with irreparable rotator cuff damage, among other complex circumstances. A typical protocol will progress from joint protection, passive range of motion, and isometric strengthening to moderate strengthening and active range of motion. There is little published on the implementation of a pool environment on rTSA rehabilitation. These patients have a higher risk of dislocation and must avoid GH extension past neutral, combined GH extension- internal rotation-adduction, and overworking of the deltoid, as it is now the primary muscle for upper extremity elevation. The goal in performing an rTSA is to restore “some basic shoulder function” in the GH joint and eliminate pain.3 Normal/full motion is not an expected outcome. The purpose of this case report was to report upon the outcomes of aquatic therapy on the biomechanical and functional retraining of a patient following a rTSA.

Publication Date



Physical Therapy

The Use Of Aquatic Therapy In Rehabilitation For A Patient Following Complicated Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty: A Case Report



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