Special Topics in Physical Therapy Syllabus for 2021-2022
Return to Syllabus List

Instructor Information

Office Location

West Campus, Room 118

Office Hours

11 AM to 12 PM, Wednesday

Course Information

COVID-19 Protocols

Recording Policy

Disability Statement

If you have a disability (learning, mental, physical) that affects your ability to participate effectively and have access to any program or service at Amarillo College please contact Disability Services at (806) 345-5639 . Our offices are located in the Student Service Center office 112. More information may be found at www.actx.edu/disability.
Disability Services facilitates access to all programs and services according to the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as other federal and state laws.

Amarillo College Web Accessibility Policy Statement

Amarillo College is committed to providing equal access to all programs and services, including all working, learning, and service environments that affect equal access for persons with disabilities. This commitment to provide equal access and opportunity for persons with disabilities is in compliance with federal and state law. Amarillo College also strives to provide Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) that are accessible to all authorized users.

If you find you are unable to access material in an accessible format please contact the Disability Services Office at (806) 345-5639 . This office will work in conjunction with other campus resources to address and accommodate your issue in a timely manner.

Statement for Mental Health and Advocacy & Resource Center:

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. Amarillo College offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus by calling the AC Counseling Center at 806-371-5900. The AC Counseling Center website is https://www.actx.edu/counseling/ . Also, if you are in need of social services (affordable housing, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, childcare, medical/dental/vision, legal), please call the AC Advocacy & Resource Center at 806-371-5439. The AC Advocacy & Resource Center website is https://www.actx.edu/arc

Amarillo College Tutoring for Success Policy:

The Tutoring for Success policy applies to any student whose grade or performance in the course falls below a departmentally determined minimum threshold. In either of those cases, the instructor will direct the student to the appropriate tutoring service, which may be faculty-led, discipline-specific, and/or general. Under this policy, the instructor will follow specific departmental guidelines governing the use, duration, and grade component of the tutoring need.

Administrative Drop Policy

Students who do not attend class on or prior to the census date will be administratively dropped. Effective Fall, 2016

Student Withdrawal Procedures

Students who wish to withdraw from a course must complete all steps indicated on the Academic Withdrawal Request form by the course withdrawal deadline.

NOTE: Students who are attending Texas institutions of higher education, for the first time fall 2007 and later, may not withdraw from more than six courses during their academic career. This withdrawal limitation does not include dual credit or developmental classes (Senate Bill 1231 Rule 4.10.) For more information on Drop and Withdrawal Policies, please visit the Registrar's Office Web site.

Privacy Statement

The Amarillo College Privacy Policy is found at https://www.actx.edu/-amarillo-college-privacy-notice , and applies to all Amarillo College students.  If you have questions about this privacy statement or you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent, send email to humanresources@actx.edu .


PTHA-1391-001 Special Topics in Physical Therapy


Prerequisites: PTHA 1301, 1405, 1413, 1431, 2301, 2409, 1321, and 1260 Corequisites: PTHA 2431, 2435

Course Description

This course will cover advanced knowledge and skills within the scope of practice of the entry-level physical therapist assistant, particularly in the area of orthopedics. The focal point of the special topics covered in this course would concentrate on orthopedic knowledge, concepts, conditions, injuries, disorders, skills, and related physical therapy interventions relevant to the professional development of the physical therapist assistant. 

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at https://melodiegraves.youcanbook.me

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(3 sem hrs; 3 lec)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information



Dutton M. Dutton's Orthopedic Survival Guide. McGraw-Hill. 2011.

ISBN: 978-0-0-171510-2


Laptop or tablet computer with internet access

Student Performance

This course is focused on the management and treatment of primary and secondary issues of orthopedic patients using a biopsychosocial model.

Special Topics in Physical Therapy  

1. Identify common orthopedic diagnoses and symptoms seen in a physical therapy setting.
2. Describe how injury, pathology, and co-morbidities affect orthopedic structures in the human body and outcomes in management of orthopedic primary and secondary issues.
3. Demonstrate the ability to educate a patient in common treatment plans for orthopedic conditions and post-operative physical therapy protocols.
4. Design a treatment session and progression for a patient with an orthopedic diagnosis from within the physical therapist's plan of care, utilizing appropriate evidence-based methodology.
5. Integrate knowledge of joint specific structure and function of joints in the design of a treatment session according to the physical therapist’s plan of care. 
5. Describe the general and applied concepts of non-thrust peripheral joint mobilization.
6. Identify adverse responses and complications associated with orthopedic conditions, which requires additional assessment and management by the physical therapist.  

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at https://acconnect.actx.edu .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

Expected Student Behavior

enlightenedStudents shall read the Amarillo College "Student Rights and Responsibilities" information with emphasis placed on the Academic Information, Student Conduct and Responsibilities, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Education/Prevention Program sections.

Students will not use cell phones in the classroom, unless the instructor allows use for a specific activity. All such devices must be placed on silent mode and kept stored. If a student expects that there may be some type of emergency situation, the student should inform the instructor prior to the beginning of class. Unauthorized use of cell phones in class will result in the student being asked to leave the class and being counted absent for the lecture/lab.

Student participation is a required element during Lecture and Lab classes. If a student refuses to participate actively or is disengaged in a discussion or activity, the student may be asked to leave class and will be counted absent for the day. Students do have the right to refuse the application of any specific treatment or activity for medical or personal reasons. This does not constitute a reason for absence from class. Alternate activities or assignments will be required.

Students in the PTA Program are expected to dress conservatively and professionally, as expected in the clinic.  Upon request of the faculty, the student will attend class in professional dress including black, navy, or khaki pants and cobalt blue polo shirt with the PTA logo.  Clean, closed-toe, closed-heel shoes with non-slip soles in good condition should be worn during all class and lab activities. Amarillo College Badge/ID's should also be worn during all off-campus class and clinical activities.

Jewelry and cologne are to be kept to a minimum. All jewelry should be conservative and limited to a minimal amount. The student's professional dress is subject to approval by the course instructor. If professional dress code is not followed, the student may not be able to participate in the scheduled activity, may receive a grade penalty for the day, and/or may not have the option to makeup the assignment. This decision is at the discretion of the instructor. Students may be required to cover any visible tattoo, remove any nail treatment, or change hair management when participating in clinical assignments in compliance with the individual institution's dress code in order to attend the clinical assignment.

Courtesy and respect are expected between the student and instructor. Students are expected to be attentive to instructor, guests, and other students during presentations. Students are required to extend highest respect to patients/clients/others when making off-campus contact. Lack of regard to this expectation at any time by any single student or group of students may result in immediate dismissal of the student/s from the situation by the instructor, guest lecturer, or patient/client/other.

Dishonesty in the classroom or in completing any assignment will not be tolerated. Students demonstrating academic dishonesty as defined in the "Student Rights and Responsibilities" publication will receive a grade of "F" in the course and will be subject to all PTA Program policies regarding course failure.

Student Grievance: A student who has an issue with the course or course instructor should make every attempt to resolve the problem with the course instructor. If that is not successful, the student may appeal the decision of the instructor to the program director, Allied Health Dean, Dean of Instruction, and the Amarillo College President - IN THAT ORDER.

Grading Criteria



Quiz/Assignments                       15% **

Lecture Exams                             60%*

Final Exam                                    20% ***

Attendance                                     5% 

  • *Exam grades excluding the final grade will be averaged to create one exam average which will be 60% of the grade. The total exam average will be calculated based on 60% for the exam average and 20% of the final score. 
  • enlightened** Students who do not meet minimum proficiencies during a lab practical, scoring a 75.9% or below, will be given one opportunity to re-test before the course is completed. If the practical is repeated to achieve competency, the highest grade that can be achieved is 76%. Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in ALL critical safety elements before being allowed to pass the course. If a student is absent on the day of a practical exam, the highest grade that can be achieved is 76% except in extenuating circumstances as determined by the instructor. 
  • ***Quizzes may be in the form of a quiz or submission and will be graded. Assignments may be in the form of a quiz or submission and may be graded on a check-mark system for satisfactory completion. If unsatisfactory work is submitted, the assignment is returned to the student for correction and edits. FAILURE TO COMPLETE ANY SINGLE ASSIGNMENT TO A SATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE WILL RESULT IN A ZERO FOR THAT ASSIGNMENT GRADE TO BE CALCULATED INTO THE FINAL GRADE AS WEIGHTED BY THE INSTRUCTOR. 
  • ****Final exam is comprehensive and the student is required to achieve a passing grade of 76% in order to pass the course.(DELETED WITH CONSENSUS OF CLASS) nl

Any student scoring a 79 or lower on an exam or practical is REQUIRED to contact the instructor to discuss remediation. IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO SCHEDULE THIS SESSION. The student will be required to schedule and attend tutoring at one of AC’s tutoring centers. Locations for tutoring can be found at https://www.actx.edu/tutoring/. The required number of tutoring sessions will be determined at the discretion of the instructor. The student will be required to bring verification of attendance at tutoring to the instructor.

A = 100-92.0
B = 91.9-84.0
C = 83.9-76.0
F = 75.9 and below

Note: A grade of C or better is required to complete the PTA major.

MAKE-UP POLICY FOR LECTURE EXAMS: There will be a penalty for make-ups on exams. Any unexcused absence from an exam results in a 10-point deduction from the earned grade. The make-up exam will vary in format from the original exam. The student must present verification for the absence in order to take a make-up exam without a penalty The instructor may choose what type of verification is needed. 
The student should expect to take the make-up exam on the day the student returns to class, unless otherwise notified by the instructor.


ATTENDANCE: Regular attendance is necessary for satisfactory achievement. Therefore, the student is responsible for class attendance. The student is expected to be seated and prepared to begin class at the designated time. At the beginning of each lecture and lab, attendance will be recorded in Blackboard.  A sign-in sheet may be available for tracking purposes. 

The student's attendance score is based on 100% for each on-time attendance and 50% for each tardy attendance. Habitual tardiness (at least once weekly event) will be addressed with the instructor. The attendance grade is calculated in the course grade as weighted by the instructor. Habitual tardiness (at least once weekly event) will be addressed with the instructor. The attendance grade is calculated in the course grade as weighted by the instructor. 

Full attendance of class time is also expected. A student will be counted as "absent" if the student is out of class more than 20 minutes of a class time. For example, if in any given day a student arrives 15 minutes late to class, takes an extra 5 minutes for break and leaves class for 5 minutes for any reason (phone calls, appointments, bathroom breaks, illness), that is considered an "absence" for the day. This type of absence counts in the total number of absences resulting in lowering of the final course grade.

If a student is asked to leave a class due to disruption or lack of participation, the student will be counted absent for that entire class.

enlightenedThe rules above apply to all unplanned and unexcused absences. Prior approval of absences and approval of excused absence are solely at the discretion of the faculty based on the circumstances and reasons for absence. Written validation is required for any absence that is considered excused and exempt from this policy. 

Following an absence, the student is responsible for obtaining missed notes/assignments/copies of handouts, etc. from classmates. The student is also responsible for obtaining any needed clarification of missed information from the course instructor.


Special Topics in Physical Therapy

Lecture Tuesday and Thursday 8 - 9:30 (WC Allied Health Building 165)  3:00 hours per week for total of 48 total contact hours 

Fall 2021 -Tentative Schedule-Lead Instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary. 



Readings in Book plus all web links and readings in Course content



Chapters 1-4 and additional readings assigned in course content


Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of Shoulder Dysfunction

Chapter 5



Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of Shoulder

Chapter 5


Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of Elbow, Forearm, Wrist, Hand

Chapters 6, 7



Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of  Hip

Chapter 8


Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of Knee and Hip

Chapter 8 and 9


Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of Knee and Ankle

Chapter 9 and 10


EXAM 3 (Mid-term)

Covering UE and Hip





Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of Knee

Chapter 9 and 10


Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of Ankle

Chapter 10



Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of Spine

Chapter 11


Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of Spine

Chapter 11 and 12


Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of Spine and SI

Chapter 11 and 12


Pathomechanics, symptoms and signs, clinical management, and surgical management of Spine and SI

Special Approaches to Orthopedic Dysfunction

Chapter 11 and 12







Additional Information

Instructional Methods include: lecture and Lab activities

USE OF CELL PHONES/ELECTRONIC DEVICES (I-PODS, MP 3 PLAYERS, ETC.): Students will not use cell phones in the classroom unless the instructor specifically allows an exception. All such devices must be placed on silent mode and kept stored. If a student expects that there may be some type of emergency situation, the student should inform the instructor prior to the beginning of class. Unauthorized use of cell phones in class will result in the student being asked to leave the class and being counted absent for the lecture/lab.

The student will bring a computer and textbook(s) as listed in the schedule. 


REQUIRED READING: The student is expected to complete all reading assignments. All information is considered testable material, and may not be covered during lecture, therefore it is the student’s responsibility to discuss (at an appropriate time) with course instructor clarification of material as needed.  

LAB DRESS CODE: Appropriate dress is required during scheduled lab times.

Females: shorts, sports bra, halter, or swimsuit top (fasteners need to be in the back), athletic clothing or loose clothing as a cover-up

Males: shorts, T-shirt, athletic or loose clothing as a cover-up

LAST DATE TO DROP/WITHDRAW:   November 23, 2021

Any student not withdrawn by November 23, 2021 will receive the grade earned.

For successful completion of PTHA 1405 the following is required by each student: passing minimum average of all quizzes/quick checks, exams, Practicals, skills application; submitting all homework/documentation workbook assignments; and to participate in 1-2 body mechanics training session for other disciplines (outside of class time). The body mechanics training opportunities will be announced in advanced so each student has the opportunity to participate. During the body mechanics training opportunities, the student will be required to wear the PTA student shirt, black, navy, or khaki pants, and close-toe, closed-heel shoes with non-skid soles. The student will be expected to interact professionally with the other disciplines, classmates, and instructors.

SAFETY PROCEDURES: In case of an emergency, the student needs to call the Safety and Security department at 9-371-5163.  In an emergency situation, use the nearest phone that is available.  The student should also know in case of a medical emergency, the following procedure should be performed and in the order written:

  1. call 9-911 for an ambulance
  2. call safety and security

Amarillo College Resources link:http://www.actx.edu/resources/

PHYSICAL RESTRICTIONS: The full participation in activities presented in this course may be limited by physical restrictions encountered by the student.  It is the responsibility of the student to let the instructor know if any of these restrictions apply to you.  All students are to avoid doing the VALSALVA maneuver during lifting activities.

If you have:

Asthma, cardiac problems, high blood pressure– avoid doing the Valsalva maneuver during lifting activities

Pregnancy– do not do any lifting that exceeds what your doctor has recommended.  Precaution needs to be taken when stretching due to ligament laxity.  All lifting is contraindicated if you have incompetent cervix, vaginal bleeding, placenta previa, rupture of the membrane, premature labor, maternal heart disease, hypertension, intrauterine growth retardation, and uncontrolled diabetes

Rheumatoid Arthritis– when in the inflammatory state, lifting is contraindicated.  It is recommended to rest and use splints to protect your joints during the appropriate activities as prescribed by your doctor

Thermoregulatory problems– clothing may need to be adjusted to accommodate the temperature of the environment.  If necessary, a misting bottle may be brought to lab

Diabetes/hypoglycemia– bring medication and snacks as needed

Latex sensitivity– latex gloves during sterile techniques are to be avoided.  Notify the instructor by the 3rd day of classes so that alternative gloves can be provided.

enlightenedThe lead instructor reserves the right to modify and edit the course plan by notifying students of the change as soon as the change is planned or implemented.



Syllabus Created on:

08/18/18 3:52 PM

Last Edited on:

12/10/21 7:17 AM