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Can J Surg. 2015 Feb;58(1):48-53.

The use of early immobilization in the management of acute soft-tissue injuries of the knee: results of a survey of emergency physicians, sports medicine physicians and orthopedic surgeons.

Author information

1
The Department of Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.
2
The Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.
3
The Department of Physical Therapy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.

Abstract

in English, French

BACKGROUND:

Evidence-based guidelines on the use of immobilization in the management of common acute soft-tissue knee injuries do not exist. Our objective was to explore the practice patterns of emergency physicians (EPs), sports medicine physicians (SMPs) and orthopedic surgeons (OS) regarding the use of early immobilization in the management of these injuries.

METHODS:

We developed a web-based survey and sent it to all EPs, SMPs and OS in a Canadian urban centre. The survey was designed to assess the likelihood of prescribing immobilization and to evaluate factors associated with physicians from these 3 disciplines making this decision.

RESULTS:

The overall response rate was 44 of 112 (39%): 17 of 58 (29%) EPs, 7 of 15 (47%) SMPs and 20 of 39 (51%) OS. In cases of suspected meniscus injuries, 9 (50%) EPs indicated they would prescribe immobilization, whereas no SMPs and 1 (5%) OS would immobilize (p = 0.002). For suspected anterior cruciate ligament injuries, 13 (77%) EPs, 2 (29%) SMPs and 5 (25%) OS said they would immobilize (p = 0.005). For lateral collateral ligament injuries, 9 (53%) EPs, no SMPs and 6 (32%) OS would immobilize (p = 0.04). All respondents would prescribe immobilization for a grossly unstable knee.

CONCLUSION:

We found that EPs were are more likely to prescribe immobilization for certain acute soft-tissue knee injuries than SMPs and OS. The development of an evidenced- based guideline for the use of knee immobilization after acute soft-tissue injury may reduce practice variability.

PMID:
25621910
PMCID:
PMC4309764
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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