Revitalizing Recovery: Unveiling the Transformative Impact of Physiotherapy in Rehabilitating a Neglected Case of Shoulder Hemiarthroplasty

Cureus. 2024 Feb 3;16(2):e53488. doi: 10.7759/cureus.53488. eCollection 2024 Feb.


The shoulder joint has a complex anatomy and biomechanics. It is a ball and socket joint made by the articulation surface of the humeral head (ball) and glenoidal fossa (socket) of the scapula. Shoulder arthroplasty is done when parts of the shoulder joint are severely affected and damaged beyond repair. The damaged parts are replaced with artificial parts. Prosthetic implants are typically made of metal or plastic material. Implants come in various sizes and shapes. There are three types of surgical arthroplasty: total shoulder arthroplasty, partial shoulder arthroplasty, and reverse arthroplasty. Indications of shoulder arthroplasty may include osteoarthritis, fractures, rotator cuff injuries, osteonecrosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. This case study aims to provide a case of anteroinferior dislocation of the left shoulder with humeral head comminuted fracture confirmed by an investigation like radiograph and CT scan operatively managed by left shoulder hemiarthroplasty. In this case study, a 58-year-old male cannot lift his arm and perform actions of the shoulder joint independently after the operative procedure, thus reducing the functional status and quality of life. After the left shoulder hemiarthroplasty repair post due to inadequate rehabilitation, there was a failure in achieving the ranges and gaining back the strength of the muscles. The patient has a combined plan of action, which consists of pharmacological interventions along with physiotherapy rehabilitation. The physiotherapy protocol consists of goals like using electrical muscle stimulation, activation exercises of muscles, strengthening protocol, stretches, and counselling. By the end of the physiotherapy treatment, the patient showed significant progress in re-establishing the ranges and enhanced muscle strength, which resulted in a positive self-boost along with improved functional independence quotient, thereby increasing quality of life.

Keywords: case report; physiotherapy; post-operative management; rehabilitation; shoulder arthroplasty.

Publication types

  • Case Reports