1st Edition

Foundations of Orthopedic Physical Therapy

By Harvey Wallmann, Robert Donatelli Copyright 2023

    A tool for students, educators, and clinicians, Foundations of Orthopedic Physical Therapy contains the latest literature in orthopedic physical therapy and guides readers through all elements of orthopedic assessment and treatment.

    Drs. Harvey Wallmann and Robert Donatelli offer a contemporary, evidence-based approach, working to address the topics that influence clinical decisions when developing rehabilitation and exercise programs. The text is consistent with the concepts and terminology presented in the APTA Guide to Physical Therapist Practice 3.0 and reviews the clinical practice guidelines for different conditions and body regions with an explanation of different levels of evidence.

    Foundations of Orthopedic Physical Therapy emphasizes a comprehensive method to assessment that produces treatment guidelines instead of rigid protocols and incorporates basic principles of evaluation, examination, and clinical reasoning. Each chapter contains author comments focusing on their perception of an effective patient intervention, evidence-based support for their decisions, and illustrative client case studies featuring unique and diverse patients who require specific interventions related to their orthopedic issues.

    Five main areas are addressed:

    • Foundations of orthopedic rehabilitation
    • Upper extremity
    • Lower extremity
    • Spinal column
    • Special topics in orthopedic rehabilitation

    Foundations of Orthopedic Physical Therapy is the perfect guide for students intending to work with the orthopedic population in the treatment and intervention of injuries, pathologies, and disorders, or practicing physical therapists who want to expand their knowledge.



    About the Editors

    Contributing Authors


    Part I Foundations of Orthopedic Rehabilitation

    Chapter 1 Trauma and Inflammation of Soft Tissue: Rehabilitation and Wound Healing and Remodeling of Collagen

    Chapter 2 Peripheral and Central Nervous System Reflex Testing: Neurodynamic Testing and Treatment for the Spine and Extremities

    Chapter 3 Symptom Investigation: Screening for Medical Conditions

    Part II Upper Extremity

    Chapter 4 Upper Quarter Systems Review and Referred Pain Patterns

    Chapter 5 Normal Mechanics, Dysfunction, Evaluation, and Treatment of the Shoulder

    Chapter 6 Dysfunction, Evaluation, and Treatment of the Elbow

    Chapter 7 Dysfunction, Evaluation, and Treatment of the Wrist and Hand

    Part III Lower Extremity

    Chapter 8 Lower Quarter Systems Review, Postural Assessment, and Referred Pain Patterns

    Chapter 9 Dysfunction, Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of the Hip Complex: Nonsurgical and Surgical

    Chapter 10 Dysfunction, Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of the Knee: Nonsurgical and Surgical

    Chapter 11 Foot and Ankle: Anatomy, Mechanics, and Rehabilitation

    Chapter 12 The Effectiveness of Manual Therapy: Histological and Physiological Effects

    Part IV Spinal Column

    Chapter 13 Differential Diagnosis and Treatment of the Cervical and Upper Thoracic Spine

    Chapter 14 Physical Therapy Management of Temporomandibular Disorders With Cervical Spine Considerations

    Chapter 15 Mobilization/Manipulation of the Cervical and Thoracic Spine (Techniques)

    Chapter 16 Differential Diagnosis and Manual Therapy of the Lumbar Spine and Pelvis

    Chapter 17 Evaluation and Rehabilitation of Spinal Stability and Motor Control

    Part V Special Topics in Orthopedic Rehabilitation

    Chapter 18 Evidence-Based Rehabilitation of Concussion or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    Chapter 19 Exercises for the Trunk, Shoulder, Hip, and Knee: Electromyographic Evidence

    Chapter 20 Spinal Manual Trigger Point Therapy and Dry Needling

    Chapter 21 Yoga for Musculoskeletal Conditions: An Overview and Summary of Evidence

    Chapter 22 Diagnostic Imaging and Ultrasound

    Chapter 23 Blood Flow Restriction Training: Implications for Orthopedic Physical Therapy


    Harvey W. Wallmann, PT, DSc, AT Ret, CSCS, has extensive teaching, research, and administrative experience in physical therapy as he served in academia for 24 years. He graduated with a master of science in physical therapy from the University of Indianapolis, Krannert Graduate School of Physical Therapy in 1989, and a doctor of science from Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, California) in 2000. His prior credentials include a bachelor of arts in movement and sports science and a master of science in exercise physiology, both from Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana). Dr. Wallmann holds certification as a Certified Strength Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and previously held certifications as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) and as a Board-Certified Sports Clinical Specialist (SCS).

    Dr. Wallmann began his physical therapy academic career at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1997, where he was founding Director of the program. He was also the founding Director/Department Head of the doctor of physical therapy program at Western Kentucky University (WKU) from 2011 to 2018, and served as professor and Department Chair/Program Director at the University of Findlay in Ohio from 2018 to 2021.

    At the national level, he completed a term serving as the Chair of the Sports Specialty Council for the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, while prior to that serving as the Sports Certification Item Bank Coordinator as well as item writer/reviewer. He has collaborated with researchers from many disciplines besides physical therapy, including nursing, kinesiology, athletic training, engineering, and nutrition. Currently, he has more than 65 peer-reviewed publications, including articles and book chapters as well as dozens of poster and platform presentations and abstracts. Most of his research focuses on the areas of balance, gait training, and the effects of stretching on human performance. Dr. Wallmann was the guest editor for the Balance monograph published in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Clinics of North America. He also served as the associate editor for North America for the international journal Physical Therapy in Sport for 7 years, served on the editorial boards for Home Health Care Management & Practice as well as the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, and served as a manuscript reviewer for 12 different professional journals.

    Robert Donatelli, PT, PhD, is an adjunct faculty at Touro University (New York City, New York) for the Physical Therapy Department. Dr. Donatelli was the therapist for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas hockey team in 2016 and 2017. His responsibilities included the development of a postconcussion program and assessment and treatment of injuries. Dr. Donatelli worked with the Las Vegas Lights professional soccer team as well. From 2010–2011, Dr. Donatelli was asked to work with the Chinese Olympic Teams at the Chinese Olympic Center in Beijing, China. Dr. Donatelli worked directly with the Olympic athletes in the evaluation and treatment of injuries. Since May of 2001 to 2008, Dr. Donatelli has been the physical therapist working with Andy Roddick—ranked in the top 10 on the Association for Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour for 10 years. Dr. Donatelli worked as the physical therapist for the Jimmy Connors Champions Tennis Tour. Dr. Donatelli was also the physical therapist for the ATP tour, Mexico City and the Lipton ATP tennis tournaments in 1996, Germany Open in 1997, AT&T Challenge in Atlanta 1985–1999. From January 2004, Dr. Donatelli has worked on tour with the Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA) for 6 months and worked individually with several professional golfers including Natalie Gublis, Amy Hung, Kim Hall, and Fred Funk. Dr. Donatelli served as a member of the PBATS (Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society) Research Committee from 1996–2001, and worked as a consultant for Montreal Expos, Philadelphia Phillies, and Milwaukee Brewers baseball teams.

    Dr. Donatelli has published 4 textbooks: Physical Therapy of the Shoulder, Fifth Edition; Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, Fourth Edition; Biomechanics of the Foot and Ankle, Second Edition; and Sports-Specific Rehabilitation. Dr. Donatelli has published more than 35 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Donatelli has published 13 books (including new editions), and he has written numerous chapters within his 13 published books.

    Dr. Donatelli lectures throughout the United States, Canada, England, Israel, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Brazil, Russia, China, Scotland, Australia, Sweden, Spain, Romania, Poland, and Portugal.