AbstractA reliability-tested questionnaire was used to survey current inpatient practices of Australian physiotherapists following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. A response rate of 76% was achieved (248 of 326 hospitals), producing an overall sample of 84 respondents where ACL reconstructions were performed. Rehabilitation protocol development was commonly a collaborative effort between surgeons and physiotherapists. Two-thirds of hospitals had revised protocols within 2 years prior to the survey. Quadriceps and hamstring exercises were typically commenced by the first postoperative day. The most common quadriceps exercises prescribed were isometric quadriceps, straight leg raises and inner range quadriceps. Hamstring exercises most frequently performed were co-contractions and isolated hamstring contractions. Continuous passive motion, electrotherapy, bracing and cryotherapy were not enthusiastically incorporated. Discharge trends reflected aggressive rehabilitation inclinations, with patients typically discharged by the second or third postoperative day. The most common discharge expectations were unprotected weight bearing, up to 90° of knee flexion, and terminal extension. The most common discharge criterion from both physiotherapy and hospital was safe and independent mobility. This pioneering survey of inpatient practices following ACL reconstruction identified a non-uniform range of regimens currently implemented among Australian hospitals, but there was earlier implementation of those used than had been previously reported
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