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An online survey of clinical practice of Brazilian physical therapists on rehabilitation following rotator cuff repair

Mazuquin, Bruno and Trede, Renato Guilherme and Camargo, Paula Rezende (2021) An online survey of clinical practice of Brazilian physical therapists on rehabilitation following rotator cuff repair. Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Trauma, 17. pp. 143-148. ISSN 0976-5662

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Abstract

Background Physical therapy is essential to help patients to recover their movements and function following a rotator cuff repair. However, there are uncertainties regarding how long a sling should be used for and when exercises should be started. Objective To investigate the current clinical practice of Brazilian physical therapists treating patients who had a rotator cuff repair. We also explored differences between shoulder specialists and non-specialists. Methods An online survey with 38 questions, including a clinical case, regarding the physical therapy clinical practice for patients having a rotator cuff repair. Results We analyzed 194 responses. Majority of participants were from the Southeast of Brazil (57.5%), had up to 10 years of clinical experience (61.4%) and were not shoulder-specialists (69.8%). Majority of the respondents stated that patients have their first post-operative physical therapy session within the first three weeks (51%). Patients usually use a sling for four to six weeks (60.6%). Passive mobilization is often started in the first-week post-surgery. Fifteen percent of shoulder specialists compared to only six percent of non-shoulder specialists would allow strengthening exercises to start between the first and third weeks post-surgery. Conclusion Physical therapists in Brazil seems to follow similar postoperative programs to other countries. Shoulder specialists allow a faster return to activities and start of strengthening exercises.

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