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Physiotherapy. 2009 Jun;95(2):61-75. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Apr 23.

Early rehabilitation following less invasive surgical stabilisation plate fixation for distal femoral fractures.

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Institute of Orthopaedics, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UY, UK.



The less invasive surgical stabilisation (LISS) plate fixation method is an orthopaedic procedure for the fixation of distal femoral fractures. Early physiotherapy treatments of motion and mobilisation have been advocated following this procedure. This article critically appraises the evidence base assessing the early rehabilitation of patients following LISS fixation for distal femoral fractures.


A review of EMBASE, Medline, CINAHL and AMED, and a hand search were undertaken.


Two independent reviewers identified all eligible articles. Two reviewers extracted the data, which were verified by a third reviewer. All included articles were critically appraised by two independent reviewers using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool.


Seventeen case series assessing 508 patients with 535 fractures were reviewed. No clinical trials comparing physiotherapy programmes were identified. The review identified that following LISS fixation for distal femoral fractures, patients begin range-of-motion exercises immediately and are initially required to restrict weight-bearing following surgery. It remains unclear whether casts, braces or immobilisation aids are applied during the initial postoperative period.


The efficacy of different physiotherapy protocols following LISS fixation for distal femoral fractures remains unclear. Further well-designed randomised controlled trials are required to compare different postoperative physiotherapy rehabilitation programmes for patients following LISS fixation of distal femoral fractures in order to determine the optimal postoperative management for this complex patient group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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