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J Rehabil Med. 2012 Jan;44(1):12-8. doi: 10.2340/16501977-0889.

Supervised strengthening exercises versus home-based movement exercises after arthroscopic acromioplasty: a randomized clinical trial.

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  • 1Departement of Medical health Sciences, Division of Physiotherapy, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.



To evaluate and compare the efficacy of 2 rehabilitation strategies after arthroscopic acromioplasty: supervised physical therapy focusing on strengthening exercises of the rotator cuff and scapula stabilizers (PT-group) vs home-based movement exercises (H-group).


A randomized, single-blinded, clinically controlled study.


Thirty-six patients entered the study. Thirteen in the PT-group and 16 in the H-group fulfilled all the assessments.


For 12 weeks following surgery, patients performed either supervised physical therapy or home exercises. Follow-ups were conducted periodically for 6 months after surgery to evaluate shoulder function, pain (Constant-Murley (CM) and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) scores), and health-related quality of life.


The PT-group exhibited significantly greater improvements in CM (p =0.02) and DASH (p=0.05) scores. After treatment, the between-group mean difference in CM scores was 14.2 p (95% confidence interval 2-26). At the 6-month follow-up, the between-group mean difference in DASH scores was 13.4 p (95% confidence interval 0.1-23).


PT-supervised rehabilitation with strengthening exercises of the rotator cuff and scapula stabilizers seems to be superior to home exercises focusing on mobility for improving shoulder function after arthroscopic acromioplasty.

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