Skip to main content

Rehabilitation Techniques for Adults Undergoing External Fixation Treatment for Lower Limb Reconstruction: A Systematic Review.

Pawson, J. R., Church, D., Fletcher, J., Wood, R. A. L., Hilton, C., Lloyd, J., Brien, J. and Collins, K. C., 2024. Rehabilitation Techniques for Adults Undergoing External Fixation Treatment for Lower Limb Reconstruction: A Systematic Review. Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction, 19 (1), 45-55.

Full text available as:

STLR-19-45.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1609


Introduction: External fixation devices are commonly used in orthopaedic surgery to manage a range of pathologies. In this patient population, there is currently no consensus on optimal rehabilitation techniques. There exists a large variation in practice, with a limited understanding of how these affect treatment outcomes. Methods: Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a systematic review was conducted of Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), MEDLINE, PEDro, and COCHRANE databases, grey literature sources and forward and backward searching of included articles. Studies were selected following rigorous screening with predefined inclusion criteria. Data quality was assessed using validated appraisal tools. Articles were synthesised by rehabilitation type and descriptive analysis was subsequently performed. Results: From 1,156 articles identified, 18 were eligible for inclusion. The overall quality was low, with clinical commentaries and case studies being the most common study type. Studies were synthesised by rehabilitation type, the most common themes being gait re-education, strengthening, therapy-assisted, active exercises and weight-bearing exercises. Conclusion: There is a lack of high-quality evidence to support meaningful recommendations and guide rehabilitation practices for this patient cohort. Further research for patients being treated in external fixation, especially related to the potential effects of physical rehabilitation on bone healing, return of strength, mobility and independent function is likely to have transferability within wider orthopaedic populations. Clinical significance: This systematic review is unable to provide clinical recommendations due to the poor quality of the available literature. However, it is hoped this paper will provide a foundation for further research to improve rehabilitation for patients being treated with external fixation.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Circular frame; Ex-fix; External fixation; External fixator; Limb reconstruction; Lower limb fracture;Physiotherapy;Rehabilitation;Systematic review
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:40057
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:19 Jun 2024 07:49
Last Modified:19 Jun 2024 07:49


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -