Conservative management of a large rotator cuff tear to increase functional abilities: A case report

A. S. Piccoli, S. M. Hasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this case report was to explore the application of conservative management in an individual with a large rotator cuff tear. Often patients with such an extensive injury are recommended for surgery. The patient was a 76-years-old female with a primary diagnosis of a large tear in the supraspinatus, after falling down her steps. The patient underwent physical therapy 3 times a week for 7 weeks (19 visits). The interventions consisted of modalities and therapeutic exercise. Outcome measures included the Shoulder pain and Disability Index (SPADI), and the Short Form-12 (SF-12). Each was implemented at the initial examination, 3 1/2 weeks, and 7 weeks. The SPADI increased, showing a 78% improvement in function. There was an overall increase in the physical component scale of the SF-12 by the 7th week, showing an 86% increase from the initial score. The use of conservative treatment may be an effective method for restoring function in patients with large rotator cuff tears. The great percentile changes as shown by the outcome measures suggests overall functional improvements in this patient. There have been few studies to support the use of conservative treatment for patients with large rotator cuff tears. However, further research needs to be done on this type of intervention with different levels of pre-injury function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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