Evidence for the use of post-operative physiotherapy after surgical repair of the cranial cruciate ligament in dogs
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Physiotherapy is well utilised and evidenced in human practice. However, the use of physiotherapy in veterinary practice is a relatively new concept with much of the current treatment based on human evidence. Currently the evidence base for the use of physiotherapy in dogs in the post-operative period after surgery for ruptured cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is minimal. Published evidence does indicate that the use of cold therapy in the immediate post-operative period can result in reduced swelling, reduced pain and increased range of motion (ROM). Additionally, post-operative physiotherapy programmes were shown to improve ROM, muscle mass and limb use post operatively when compared with a restricted exercise programme. However, there are some inconsistencies in results, which may in part be due to experiment design — data collection methods and sample numbers. More research is required in this field of veterinary medicine to provide evidence that the benefits of post-operative physiotherapy, widely recognised in human medicine, are truly applicable to the canine patient.
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