Physiotherapist contributes to guidelines for knee cartilage treatment

Produced by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and featuring a contribution from Dr Karen Hambly, a chartered physiotherapist and member of the University of Kent’s School of Sports and Exercise Sciences (SSES), the guidelines are intended to be used by orthopaedic physical therapists, academic instructors, clinical instructors, students and patients regarding the best current practice of orthopaedic physical therapy for meniscal and articular cartilage lesions.

More than two million people around the world suffer from these conditions so any improvements in treatment could have far reaching benefits.

The guide includes new recommendations for physical therapy management after knee cartilage surgery, including:

  • early progressive knee movement
  • for patients with meniscal repairs, early progressive weight bearing
  • for patients after articular cartilage surgery, weight bearing is progressed in small stages gradually increasing to full weight bearing
  • progressive strength and coordination training of the knee and hip muscles
  • use of information from patients on how their knee feels and functions
  • clinical or field tests to compare knee function before and after surgery and help to determine if that patient is ready to return to more challenging activities

For their update, Dr Hambly and colleagues from the USA and Australia focused on finding the best existing evidence from more than 7,500 published articles for diagnosis/classification, differential diagnosis, examination, and treatment options to decrease pain, improve mobility and function, and return patients to previous activities.

Knee Pain and Mobility Impairments: Meniscal and Articular Cartilage Lesions Revision 2018 is published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT).


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More information:
David S. Logerstedt et al, Knee Pain and Mobility Impairments: Meniscal and Articular Cartilage Lesions Revision 2018, Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (2018). DOI: 10.2519/jospt.2018.0301