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Physiotherapy Treatment and Rehabilitation Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury in New Zealand: Are We Doing Enough?
Fausett, W; Wilkins, F; Reid, D; Larmer, P; Potts, G
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Physiotherapists are lead providers of rehabilitation following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in New Zealand. Rehabilitation is considered an essential component following ACL injuries, but there is considerable variability regarding pre- and post-operative management. This study used data from the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) for the years 2013/14 to 2015/16 (the year being 1 July to 31 June) to gain insight into the physiotherapy management of ACL injuries in New Zealand. Data were extracted from 647 claims from people with a completed ACL reconstruction and 221 claims from people with a confirmed ACL injury who did not undergo surgery. In the 12 months following either ACL injury or surgery, 81% of claimants had fewer than 15 ACC-funded physiotherapy treatments, and 13% of claimants had no ACC-funded physiotherapy treatments. Nine percent of claimants had a previous or subsequent claim for an ACL injury. Compared to best practice literature, the results indicate a significant number of people in New Zealand received fewer than the recommended number of physiotherapy treatments following ACL injury. Possible reasons may include the cost of private physiotherapy services, a lack of endorsement from the respective orthopaedic surgeons, decreased patient adherence/motivation and decreased patient understanding of the importance of rehabilitation.