Content » Vol 51, Issue 4

Original report

A protocol for permissive weight-bearing during allied health therapy in surgically treated fractures of the pelvis and lower extremities

Guido Meys, Pishtiwan H. S. Kalmet, Sebastian Sanduleanu, Yvette Y. van Horn, Geert Jan Maas, Martijn Poeze, Peter R.G. Brink, Henk A.M. Seelen
Adelante, Centre of Expertise in Rehabilitation and Audiology, Hoensbroek, The Netherlands.

DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2532

Abstract

Objective: To optimize rapid clinical recovery and restoration of function and functionality, permissive weight-bearing has been designed as a new aftercare mobilization regimen, within the upper boundary of the therapeutic bandwidth, yet safe enough to avoid overloading. The aim of the present paper is to describe a comprehensive protocol for permissive weight-bearing during allied health therapy and to report on the time to full weight-bearing, as well as the number of complications, in patients with surgically treated fractures of the pelvis and lower extremities undergoing permissive weight-bearing.
Patients and methods: This study included surgically treated trauma patients with (peri)- or intra-articular fractures of the pelvis and lower extremities. A standardized permissive weight-bearing protocol was used for all patients. Time to full weight-bearing and number of complications were recorded.
Results: This study included 150 patients, 69% male, with a median age of 48 years (interquartile range (IQR) 33.0, 57.0). The median time to full weight bearing was 12.0 weeks (IQR 6.8, 19.2). The complication rate during rehabilitation was 10%.
Conclusion: The permissive weight-bearing protocol, as described, might be beneficial and has potential to be implemented in trauma patients with surgically treated (peri)- or intra-articular fractures of the pelvis and lower extremities.

Lay Abstract

Aftercare in surgically treated trauma patients with fractures of the pelvis and lower extremities has remained largely unchanged during the past 60 years. To optimize rapid clinical recovery and the restoration of function and functionality, permissive weight-bearing has been designed as a new aftercare mobilization regime, within the upper boundary of the therapeutic bandwidth, yet safe enough to avoid overloading. The aim of the present paper is to describe a comprehensive protocol for permissive weight-bearing during allied health therapy and to report on both the time to full weight-bearing and the number of complications in patients with surgically treated fractures of the pelvis and lower extremities who undergo permissive weight-bearing.

Supplementary content

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