Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Physical Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Physical Therapy


The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between upper extremity immobilization following surgical rotator cuff repair and balance in elderly individuals. Twenty-eight healthy volunteers (nine with rotator cuff repair, nineteen without) aged 53 to 74 participated in the study. Balance was measured using the Berg Balance Measure, Modified Berg Balance Measure, Functional Reach Test, and force plate analysis. Results were analyzed using t-tests for paired and independent samples, Mann Whitney U (Wilcoxon Rank Sum W) tests and Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed- Ranks tests. Significant differences were found between the post-rotator cuff surgery and control groups for performance on the Berg (p=0.0125) and Modified Berg (p=0.019, p=0.0120), as well as between the sling and no-sling block for two measures of posterior maximal lean (p=0.0249, p=0.0179). Results suggest that long and short term immobilization have some effect on balance. A need for balance training may exist in this population.


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