Variability and Comprehensiveness of North American Online Available Physical Therapy Protocols Following Hip Arthroscopy for Femoroacetabular Impingement and Labral Repair.

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PURPOSE: To assess comprehensiveness and variability of postoperative physical therapy protocols published online following hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and/or labral repair.

METHODS: Surgeons were identified by the International Society for Hip Arthroscopy "Find a Surgeon" feature in North America (, search August 10, 2016). Exclusion criteria included nonsurgeons and protocols for conditions other than hip arthroscopy for FAI and/or labral tear. Protocols were identified by review of surgeons' personal and departmental websites and evaluated for postoperative restrictions, rehabilitation components, and the time points for ending restrictions and initiating activities.

RESULTS: Of 111 surgeons available online, 31 (27.9%) had postoperative hip arthroscopy physical therapy protocols available online. Bracing was used in 54.8% (17/31) of protocols for median 2-week duration (range, 1-6 weeks). Most protocols specified the initial postoperative weight-bearing status (29/31, 93.5%), most frequently partial weight-bearing with 20 pounds foot flat (20/29, 69.0%). The duration of weight-bearing restriction was median 3 weeks (range, 2-6) for FAI and median 6 weeks (range, 3-8) for microfracture. The majority of protocols specified initial range of motion limitations (26/31, 83.9%) for median 3 weeks (range, 1.5-12). There was substantial variation in the rehabilitation activities and time points for initiating activities. Time to return to running was specified by 20/31 (64.5%) protocols at median 12 weeks (range, 6-19), and return to sport timing was specified by 13/31 (41.9%) protocols at median 15.5 weeks (range, 9-23).

CONCLUSIONS: There is considerable variability in postoperative physical therapy protocols available online following hip arthroscopy for FAI, including postoperative restrictions, rehabilitation activities, and time points for activities.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This information offers residents, fellows, and established hip arthroscopists a centralized comparison of publicly available physical therapy protocols following hip arthroscopy. Practicing arthroscopists might find this analysis useful to compare various therapy strategies to their own recommendations. The variability we report can also provide inspiration for future efficacy research toward a more standard rehabilitation.





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