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ABSTRACT: Rehabilitation of fractures in small animals: maximize outcomes, minimize complications.
2009-11-06

Doyle ND.

Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, Houston, TX 77027, USA. nancyd@gcvs.com

Successful fracture management accomplishes 2 major objectives: bony union and return to functional activities. For many years, Physical Therapy has routinely helped human patients recovering from fractures reach their functional goals by helping them regain movement, flexibility, strength, coordination, and balance. Rehabilitation is now commonly provided to small animals recovering from fractures to accomplish similar goals. Knowledge of tissue healing is critical when determining the appropriate stresses to apply throughout the healing timeline. The detrimental effects of immobilization, including the potential for development of fracture disease, must be considered when formulating a Rehabilitation plan of care. Many Rehabilitation interventions are readily amenable to application by both Veterinary professionals and owners of patients. Superficial thermal modalities, passive range of motion and stretching, soft tissue massage, therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and therapeutic exercise can ensure a more complete patient recovery. Providing owners with education regarding appropriate patient handling and home modifications allows a safer return to the home environment. Detailed written instructions for rehabilitation at home promotes owner compliance and accurate completion.

Lymphology. 1995 Mar;28(1):21-30.

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