Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    Efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a physiotherapy program for chronic rotator cuff pathology: A protocol for a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
    Bennell, K ; Coburn, S ; Wee, E ; Green, S ; Harris, A ; Forbes, A ; Buchbinder, R (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2007-08-31)
    BACKGROUND: Chronic rotator cuff pathology (CRCP) is a common shoulder condition causing pain and disability. Physiotherapy is often the first line of management for CRCP yet there is little conclusive evidence to support or refute its effectiveness and no formal evaluation of its cost-effectiveness. METHODS/DESIGN: This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial will involve 200 participants with CRCP recruited from medical practices, outpatient departments and the community via print and radio media. Participants will be randomly allocated to a physiotherapy or placebo group using concealed allocation stratified by treating physiotherapist. Both groups will receive 10 sessions of individual standardised treatment over 10 weeks from one of 10 project physiotherapists. For the following 12 weeks, the physiotherapy group will continue a home exercise program and the placebo group will receive no treatment. The physiotherapy program will comprise shoulder joint and spinal mobilisation, soft tissue massage, postural taping, and home exercises for scapular control, posture and rotator cuff strengthening. The placebo group will receive inactive ultrasound and gentle application of an inert gel over the shoulder region. Blinded assessment will be conducted at baseline and at 10 weeks and 22 weeks after randomisation. The primary outcome measures are self reported questionnaires including the shoulder pain and disability index (SPADI), average pain on an 11-point numeric rating scale and participant perceived global rating of change. Secondary measures include Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form (SF-36), Assessment of Quality of Life index, numeric rating scales for shoulder pain and stiffness, participant perceived rating of change for pain, strength and stiffness, and manual muscle testing for shoulder strength using a handheld dynamometer. To evaluate cost-effectiveness, participants will record the use of all health-related treatments in a log-book returned to the assessor monthly. To test the effect of the intervention using an intention-to-treat analysis, linear regression modelling will be applied adjusting for baseline outcome values and other demographic characteristics. Participant measures of perceived change will be compared between groups by calculating the relative risks and their 95% confidence intervals at each time point using log binomial regression. DISCUSSION: Results from this trial will contribute to the evidence regarding the effectiveness of a physiotherapy program for the management of CRCP.
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    Maximum recovery after knee replacement - the MARKER study rationale and protocol
    Lin, C-WC ; March, L ; Crosbie, J ; Crawford, R ; Graves, S ; Naylor, J ; Harmer, A ; Jan, S ; Bennell, K ; Harris, I ; Parker, D ; Moffet, H ; Fransen, M (BMC, 2009-06-17)
    BACKGROUND: There is little scientific evidence to support the usual practice of providing outpatient rehabilitation to patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery (TKR) immediately after discharge from the orthopaedic ward. It is hypothesised that the lack of clinical benefit is due to the low exercise intensity tolerated at this time, with patients still recovering from the effects of major orthopaedic surgery. The aim of the proposed clinical trial is to investigate the clinical and cost effectiveness of a novel rehabilitation strategy, consisting of an initial home exercise programme followed, approximately six weeks later, by higher intensity outpatient exercise classes. METHODS/DESIGN: In this multicentre randomised controlled trial, 600 patients undergoing primary TKR will be recruited at the orthopaedic pre-admission clinic of 10 large public and private hospitals in Australia. There will be no change to the medical or rehabilitative care usually provided while the participant is admitted to the orthopaedic ward. After TKR, but prior to discharge from the orthopaedic ward, participants will be randomised to either the novel rehabilitation strategy or usual rehabilitative care as provided by the hospital or recommended by the orthopaedic surgeon. Outcomes assessments will be conducted at baseline (pre-admission clinic) and at 6 weeks, 6 months and 12 months following randomisation. The primary outcomes will be self-reported knee pain and physical function. Secondary outcomes include quality of life and objective measures of physical performance. Health economic data (health sector and community service utilisation, loss of productivity) will be recorded prospectively by participants in a patient diary. This patient cohort will also be followed-up annually for five years for knee pain, physical function and the need or actual incidence of further joint replacement surgery. DISCUSSION: The results of this pragmatic clinical trial can be directly implemented into clinical practice. If beneficial, the novel rehabilitation strategy of utilising outpatient exercise classes during a later rehabilitation phase would provide a feasible and potentially cost-effective intervention to optimise the physical well-being of the large number of people undergoing TKR. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTRN12609000054213.
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    Changes in hip and ankle range of motion and hip muscle strength in 8-11 year old novice female ballet dancers and controls: a 12 month follow up study
    Bennell, KL ; Khan, KM ; Matthews, BL ; Singleton, C (BRITISH MED JOURNAL PUBL GROUP, 2001-02-01)
    OBJECTIVES: To evaluate in a 12 month longitudinal study changes in hip and ankle range of motion and hip muscle strength in young female novice ballet dancers. METHODS: Fifty three of the original 77 (69%) female dancers aged 8-11 years and 40 of the original 49 (82%) controls returned for follow up measurements one year later. Supine right active hip external (ER) and internal (IR) rotation were measured using an inclinometer. A turnout protractor was used to assess standing active turnout range. Range of right weight bearing ankle dorsiflexion and calf muscle length were measured in a standing lunge position using an inclinometer. A manual muscle tester was used to assess right hip flexor, IR, ER, abductor and adductor strength. RESULTS: The mean (SD) 12 month change in hip ER did not differ between dancers (11.7 (11.3)degrees) and controls (8.1 (17.6)degrees). Dancers gained 12.5 (13.5)degrees hip IR which was significantly greater than controls (0.5 (13.9)degrees). Greater IR change was associated with improved IR strength (r = 0.34, p<0.001). Dancers increased total turnout (12.0 (16.7)degrees) significantly more than controls (2.2 (20.0)degrees). There was no significant change in ankle dorsiflexion range in either group. Dancers and controls increased in all measures of hip muscle strength (p<0.001) and dancers achieved significantly greater gains in three out of five muscle groups (all, p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Total hip range of motion increased in both ballet students and controls at this young age. However, ankle dorsiflexion did not, which is probably due to this movement being blocked by bony apposition, rather than soft tissue stretch. This has implications for ballet teachers, as it has long been accepted that this movement could be improved with training. Dancers had greater increases in hip strength after 12 months compared with controls in muscles specific for ballet, suggesting that hip strength can be trained at this young age. Whether these gains are permanent requires further study.
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    Effects of laterally wedged insoles on symptoms and disease progression in medial knee osteoarthritis: a protocol for a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial
    Bennell, K ; Bowles, K-A ; Payne, C ; Cicuttini, FM ; Osborne, R ; Harris, A ; Hinman, R (BMC, 2007-09-24)
    BACKGROUND: Whilst laterally wedged insoles, worn inside the shoes, are advocated as a simple, inexpensive, non-toxic self-administered intervention for knee osteoarthritis (OA), there is currently limited evidence to support their use. The aim of this randomised, double-blind controlled trial is to determine whether laterally wedges insoles lead to greater improvements in knee pain, physical function and health-related quality of life, and slower structural disease progression as well as being more cost-effective, than control flat insoles in people with medial knee OA. METHODS/DESIGN: Two hundred participants with painful radiographic medial knee OA and varus malalignment will be recruited from the community and randomly allocated to lateral wedge or control insole groups using concealed allocation. Participants will be blinded as to which insole is considered therapeutic. Blinded follow up assessment will be conducted at 12 months after randomisation. The outcome measures are valid and reliable measures recommended for OA clinical trials. Questionnaires will assess changes in pain, physical function and health-related quality-of-life. Magnetic resonance imaging will measure changes in tibial cartilage volume. To evaluate cost-effectiveness, participants will record the use of all health-related treatments in a log-book returned to the assessor on a monthly basis. To test the effect of the intervention using an intention-to-treat analysis, linear regression modelling will be applied adjusting for baseline outcome values and other demographic characteristics. DISCUSSION: Results from this trial will contribute to the evidence regarding the effectiveness of laterally wedged insoles for the management of medial knee OA. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTR12605000503628; NCT00415259.
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    The effects of hip muscle strengthening on knee load, pain, and function in people with knee osteoarthritis: a protocol for a randomised, single-blind controlled trial
    Bennell, KL ; Hunt, MA ; Wrigley, TV ; Hunter, DJ ; Hinman, RS (BMC, 2007-12-07)
    BACKGROUND: Lower limb strengthening exercises are an important component of the treatment for knee osteoarthritis (OA). Strengthening the hip abductor and adductor muscles may influence joint loading and/or OA-related symptoms, but no study has evaluated these hypotheses directly. The aim of this randomised, single-blind controlled trial is to determine whether hip abductor and adductor muscle strengthening can reduce knee load and improve pain and physical function in people with medial compartment knee OA. METHODS/DESIGN: 88 participants with painful, radiographically confirmed medial compartment knee OA and varus alignment will be recruited from the community and randomly allocated to a hip strengthening or control group using concealed allocation stratified by disease severity. The hip strengthening group will perform 6 exercises to strengthen the hip abductor and adductor muscles at home 5 times per week for 12 weeks. They will consult with a physiotherapist on 7 occasions to be taught the exercises and progress exercise resistance. The control group will be requested to continue with their usual care. Blinded follow up assessment will be conducted at 12 weeks after randomisation. The primary outcome measure is the change in the peak external knee adduction moment measured during walking. Questionnaires will assess changes in pain and physical function as well as overall perceived rating of change. An intention-to-treat analysis will be performed using linear regression modelling and adjusting for baseline outcome values and other demographic characteristics. DISCUSSION: Results from this trial will contribute to the evidence regarding the effect of hip strengthening on knee loads and symptoms in people with medial compartment knee OA. If shown to reduce the knee adduction moment, hip strengthening has the potential to slow disease progression. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTR12607000001493.
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    Laterally wedged insoles in knee osteoarthritis: do biomechanical effects decline after one month of wear?
    Hinman, RS ; Bowles, KA ; Bennell, KL (BMC, 2009-11-25)
    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine whether the effect of laterally wedged insoles on the adduction moment in knee osteoarthritis (OA) declined after one month of wear, and whether higher reported use of insoles was associated with a reduced effect on the adduction moment at one month. METHODS: Twenty people with medial compartment OA underwent gait analysis in their own shoes wearing i) no insoles and; ii) insoles wedged laterally 5 degrees in random order. Testing occurred at baseline and after one month of use of the insoles. Participants recorded daily use of insoles in a log-book. Outcomes were the first and second peak external knee adduction moment and the adduction angular impulse, compared across conditions and time with repeated measures general linear models. Correlations were obtained between total insole use and change in gait parameters with used insoles at one month, and change scores were compared between high and low users of insoles using general linear models. RESULTS: There was a significant main effect for condition, whereby insoles significantly reduced the adduction moment (all p < 0.001). However there was no significant main effect for time, nor was an interaction effect evident. No significant associations were observed between total insole use and change in gait parameters with used insoles at one month, nor was there a difference in effectiveness of insoles between high and low users of the insoles at this time. CONCLUSION: Effects of laterally wedged insoles on the adduction moment do not appear to decline after one month of continuous use, suggesting that significant wedge degradation does not occur over the short-term.
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    A review of anatomical and mechanical factors affecting vertebral body integrity.
    Briggs, AM ; Greig, AM ; Wark, JD ; Fazzalari, NL ; Bennell, KL (Ivyspring International Publisher, 2004)
    Background: The aetiology of osteoporotic vertebral fracture is multifactorial and may be conceptualised using a systems framework. Previous studies have established several correlates of vertebral fracture including reduced vertebral cross-sectional area, weakness in back extensor muscles, reduced bone mineral density, increasing age, worsening kyphosis and recent vertebral fracture. Alterations in these physical characteristics may influence biomechanical loads and neuromuscular control of the trunk and contribute to changes in subregional bone mineral density of the vertebral bodies. Methods: This review discusses factors that have received less attention in the literature, which may contribute to the development of vertebral fracture. A literature review was conducted using electronic databases including Medline, Cinahl and ISI Web of Science to examine the potential contribution of trabecular architecture, subregional bone mineral density, vertebral geometry, muscle force, muscle strength, neuromuscular control and intervertebral disc integrity to the aetiology of osteoporotic vertebral fracture. Interpretation: A better understanding of factors such as biomechanical loading and neuromuscular control of the trunk may help to explain the high incidence of subsequent vertebral fracture after sustaining an initial vertebral fracture. Consideration of these issues may be important in the development of prevention and management strategies.
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    Does pre-operative physiotherapy improve outcomes from lower limb joint replacement surgery? A systematic review
    Ackerman, IN ; Bennell, KL (AUSTRALIAN PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSOC, 2004-01-01)
    A systematic review of randomised controlled trials was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of pre-operative physiotherapy programmes on outcome following lower limb joint replacement surgery. A search of relevant key terms was used to find suitable trials, with five papers meeting the inclusion criteria for the review. The methodological quality of the trials was rated using the PEDro scale. Estimates of the size of treatment effects were calculated for each outcome in each trial, with 95% confidence intervals calculated where sufficient data were provided. Of the three trials pertaining to total knee replacement, only very small mean differences were found between control and intervention groups for all of the outcome measures. Where confidence intervals could be calculated, these showed no clinically important differences between the groups. Two papers (one study) pertaining to total hip replacements found significant improvements in WOMAC scores, hip strength and range of movement, walking distance, cadence, and gait velocity for the intervention group, compared to a control group. Estimates of treatment effect sizes for these outcomes were larger than for the total knee replacement studies, with confidence intervals showing potentially clinically important differences between group means. However, as the intervention group also received an additional intensive post-operative physiotherapy program, these results cannot be attributed solely to the pre-operative program. This systematic review shows that pre-operative physiotherapy programmes are not effective in improving outcome after total knee replacement but their effect on outcome from total hip replacement cannot be adequately determined.
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    Severely compromised quality of life in women and those of lower socioeconomic status waiting for joint replacement surgery
    Ackerman, IN ; Graves, SE ; Wicks, IP ; Bennell, KL ; Osborne, RH (WILEY-LISS, 2005-10-15)
    OBJECTIVE: To determine health-related quality of life (HRQOL), psychological distress, physical function, and self efficacy in persons waiting for lower-limb joint replacement surgery. METHODS: A total of 214 patients on a waiting list for unilateral primary total knee or hip replacement at a large Australian public teaching hospital completed questionnaires after entry to the list. HRQOL and psychological distress were compared with available population norms. RESULTS: Average HRQOL was extremely poor (mean +/- SD 0.39 +/- 0.24) and much lower (>2 SD) than the population norm. Near death-equivalent HRQOL or worse than death-equivalent HRQOL were reported by 15% of participants. High or very high psychological distress was up to 5 times more prevalent in the waiting list sample (relative risk 5.4 for participants ages 75 years and older; 95% confidence interval 3.3, 9.0). Women had significantly lower HRQOL, self efficacy, and physical function scores than men. After adjusting for age and sex, significant socioeconomic disparities were also found. Participants who received the lowest income had the poorest HRQOL; those with the least education or the lowest income had the highest psychological distress. Low self efficacy was moderately associated with poor HRQOL (r = 0.49, P < 0.001) and more strongly associated with high psychological distress (r = -0.55, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Patients waiting for joint replacement have very poor HRQOL and high psychological distress, especially women and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Lengthy waiting lists mean patients can experience extended and potentially avoidable morbidity. Interventions to address psychological distress and self efficacy could reduce this burden and should target women and lower socioeconomic groups.