Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Debra Sellheim


Evaluation and treatment of patients referred from physicians with a diagnosis of “knee pain” is commonplace in an outpatient physical therapy (PT) setting. Patients coming to PT through direct access without a physician referral may not have had diagnostic imaging performed to aid in identification of the cause of their knee pain. These situations require physical therapists to be skilled in PT differential diagnosis. The purpose of this case report is to describe the differential diagnosis and clinical decision making used to determine a PT diagnosis based on medical history, patient presentation, and examination findings and secondarily to describe the interventions and rationale used in the patient’s rehabilitation.