Evidence-based rehabilitation therapy following surgery for (peri-)articular fractures: A systematic review

Marlous L. A. P. Schnackers, Yvette Y. van Horn, Guido H. H. Meys, Peter R. G. Brink, Rob J. E. M. Smeets, Henk A. M. Seelen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Objective: To assess the availability of explicitly reported protocols describing post-surgery rehabilitation of (peri-) articular fractures of the proximal humerus, acetabulum and/or tibial plateau, and to critically review any scientific evidence on the effectiveness of these protocols.

Data sources: MEDLINE (PubMed), Cochrane databases, CINAHL, PEDro and Embase (Ovid) were searched to November 2018. Furthermore, stakeholder internet sites, clinical guidelines and standard textbooks were searched.

Study selection: Screening was performed independently by 2 researchers based on a priori defined eligibility criteria.

Data synthesis: Five papers addressed post-surgical rehabilitation of proximal humerus fractures, one paper addressed acetabulum fractures. No eligible information was found on stakeholder sites or in standard textbooks. Overall, the main focus of the protocols identified was on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) "Body Functions and Structures" level. In general, little information about therapy dosage was reported. None of the protocols provided scientific evidence on which the content of described rehabilitation programmes was based.

Conclusion: This review reveals a paucity of explicitly formulated protocols focussing on post-surgical rehabilitation of common (peri-) articular fractures targeting patient-centred care at all ICF levels. There is a need for more scientific evidence on which to base protocols regarding common (peri-) articular fracture rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-645
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • rehabilitation
  • aftercare
  • (peri-) articular fractures
  • therapy protocol
  • systematic review
  • tibial plateau
  • proximal humerus
  • acetabulum

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