Case Study - A patient after right shoulder arthroscopic surgery

RY is a 34-year-old who underwent a right shoulder arthroscopic stabilisation surgery in June 2016. He originally injured his right shoulder whilst indoor climbing and then again with a fall whilst snowboarding. He was referred to Aqua-Physio at 2 months’ post-op with persistent shoulder stiffness and restricted range of shoulder movement. RY was keen to return to Kung Fu and had a snowboarding trip booked 8 months after his surgery which he was desperate to recover for.

On initial assessment, RY had restricted movements of elevation of his arm beyond shoulder height.  He had shoulder joint stiffness and active trigger points particularly in the deltoid muscles. RY also had developed weakness in his right shoulder, particularly in his rotator cuff muscles, which are very important to shoulder function.

RY commenced supervised sessions of hydrotherapy which have focused on stretching his shoulder into the upper ranges, aquatic therapist joint mobilisations, strength and proprioception work. He made excellent progress and even after the first 3 sessions he had improved active elevation of his arm. In conjunction with his pool sessions, RY continued land Physiotherapy which also enabled him to progress with strength and range of motion.  At 7 months following his surgery, RY has no shoulder pain and has regained his full range of shoulder movement. He continues to work on his exercises in preparation for his snowboarding trip in a month which he feels much more confident about.