JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW
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Postoperative Rehabilitation for Arthroscopic Management of Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome: a Contemporary Review.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS) is a common cause of hip pain that may potentially lead to osteoarthritis. Operative management of FAIS seeks to arthroscopically reshape the abnormal hip morphology and repair the labrum. For rehabilitation following operative management, a structured physical therapy program is unanimously recommended for the patient to return to their previous level of physical activity. Yet, despite this unanimous recommendation, significant heterogeneity exists among the current recommendations for postoperative physical therapy programs.

RECENT FINDINGS: A four-phase postoperative physical therapy protocol is favored among current literature, with each phase being comprised of its own goals, restrictions, precautions, and rehabilitation techniques. Phase 1 aims to protect the integrity of the surgically repaired tissues, reduce pain and inflammation, and regain ~ 80% of full ROM. Phase 2 guides a smooth transition to full weightbearing, so the patient may regain functional independence. Phase 3 helps the patient become recreationally asymptomatic and restores muscular strength and endurance. Finally, phase 4 culminates in the pain-free return to competitive sports or recreational activity. At this time, there exists no single, unanimously agreed upon postoperative physical therapy protocol. Among the current recommendations, variation exists regarding specific timelines, restrictions, precautions, exercises, and techniques throughout the four phases. It is imperative to reduce ambiguity in current recommendations and more specifically define postoperative physical therapy following operative management of FAIS to more expeditiously return patients to functional independence and physical activity.

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