Publication Date

Spring 2015

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Roberta O'Shea, PT, DPT, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Robin Washington, PT, Ph.D., CRC

Third Advisor

Rebecca K. Wojcik, PT, Ed.D., GCS


Background/Purpose: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most commonly diagnosed form of arthritis in older adults. The purpose of this case study is to describe a conservative physical approach towards alleviating symptomatic knee OA pain and achievement of functional outcomes.

Case Description: The patient was a 58-year-old Caucasian female with complaints of left shin and knee pain with a complex medical history. The patient’s goal for physical therapy was to return to functional activities such as walking greater than 60 minutes and climbing stairs pain free.

Outcomes: Upon completion of physical therapy, the patient demonstrated slight increases in left knee flexion range of motion (ROM) that were within functional limits, improvements in left hip and knee muscle strength, improvements in the 6 Minute Walk Test (6MWT), and independence completing a Home Exercise Program (HEP).

Discussion: This case report has shown how conservative physical therapy treatment through the application of various interventions may be used to rehabilitate symptomatic arthritic knee pain in a 58-year-old female. This was demonstrated by improvement of active range of motion (AROM), muscle strength, and the 6MWT along with decreased reports of symptomatic knee pain.