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Preoperative physical therapy treatment did not influence postoperative pain and disability outcomes in patients undergoing shoulder arthroscopy: a prospective study

Authors Valencia C, Coronado R, Simon C, Wright T, Moser M, Farmer K, George S

Received 2 December 2015

Accepted for publication 29 February 2016

Published 6 July 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 493—502


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael E Schatman

Carolina Valencia,1 Rogelio A Coronado,2 Corey B Simon,3,4 Thomas W Wright,5 Michael W Moser,5 Kevin W Farmer,5 Steven Z George3,6,7

1Department of Applied Medicine and Rehabilitation, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN, 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, 3Department of Physical Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 4Department of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Science, College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville,FL, 5Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 6Center for Pain Research and Behavioral Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 7Brooks–PHHP Research Collaboration, Jacksonville, FL, USA

Background: There is limited literature investigating preoperative physical therapy (pre-op PT) treatment on pain intensity and disability after musculoskeletal surgery. The purposes of the present cohort study were to describe patient characteristics for those who had and did not have pre-op PT treatment and determine whether pre-op PT influenced the length of postoperative physical therapy (post-op PT) treatment (number of sessions) and 3-month and 6-month postsurgical outcomes, such as pain intensity and disability.
Patients and methods:
A total of 124 patients (mean age =43 years, 81 males) with shoulder pain were observed before and after shoulder arthroscopic surgery. Demographic data, medical history, and validated self-report questionnaires were collected preoperatively and at 3 months and 6 months after surgery. Analysis of variance models were performed to identify differences across measures for patients who had pre-op PT treatment and those who did not and to examine outcome differences at 3 months and 6 months. Alpha was set at the 0.05 level for statistical significance.
Results: Males had less participation in pre-op PT than females (P=0.01). In contrast, age, pain intensity, disability, and pain-associated psychological factors did not differ between pre-op PT treatment groups (P>0.05). Subacromial bursectomies were more commonly performed in patients having pre-op PT treatment (P<0.05). Pre-op PT treatment did not influence length of post-op PT treatment and did not affect 3-month and 6-month pain intensity and disability outcomes. Differences in distribution of pre-op PT for males and females and subacromial bursectomy did not influence 3-month or 6-month postsurgical outcomes.
Conclusion: Receiving pre-op PT treatment did not influence post-op PT treatment or pain and disability outcomes at 3 months and 6 months. This prospective cohort study provides no evidence of benefit for pre-op PT on post-op PT treatment or postsurgical outcomes. Females or patients receiving certain surgical procedures are more likely to undergo pre-op PT treatment. However, these differences did not influence postoperative outcomes in this cohort.

Keywords: preoperative physical therapy, postoperative pain, postoperative disability, shoulder arthroscopy

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