Physical therapy prehabilitation on a reverse total shoulder replacement candidate: a case study




Villers, James S.
Burch, Jacob
Scheller, Mark
Huang, Jan-Hung

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[Purpose] The purpose of this report is to describe the PT evaluation, prehab interventions, and outcomes of a patient pursuing reverse total shoulder replacement (rTSR) for pain reduction and functional gains. [Participant and Methods] A 62-year-old male self-referred to PT two months before his right rTSR. His chief complaints were right shoulder pain, stiffness, and functional impairment due to rotator cuff tendon tears and shoulder arthritis. He demonstrated poor posture, limited ROM, decreased strength, and diminished function. The PT prehab program consisted of an initial encounter followed by six treatment sessions across approximately one month. [Results] On the last visit, the patient’s pain had meaningfully decreased along with improved posture, AROM, and muscle strength producing a clinically significant improvement in function resulting in the postponing of his rTSR. On a three months follow-up, the patient had maintained or improved in his test and measures and functional outcomes. He expressed satisfaction with the prehab outcomes and that he had indefinitely postponed his rTSR. [Conclusion] PT prehab program improved pre-operative measures on pain, posture, joint mobility, muscle strength, and function on a patient who had been scheduled for rTSR surgery. PT prehab program may delay the need for rTSR surgery.



Physical therapy, Prehabilitation, Total shoulder replacement


Villers, J. F., Burch, J., Scheller, M., & Huang, H.-H. (2020). Physical therapy prehabilitation on a reverse total shoulder replacement candidate: A case study. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 32(2), 197–205.