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Therapeutic Modalities in the Management of Sports Injuries

February 19, 2016

Contributors: Daniel Haber, MD; Ashley J Tisosky, MD; Adam Edward Roy, BA; CAPT (Ret) Matthew T. Provencher, MD MC USNR; Catherine Anne Logan, MD, MBA, PT; Catherine Anne Logan, MD, MBA, PT

The surgical and nonsurgical management of orthopaedic sports injuries benefit from effective collaboration between the treating surgeon, a physical therapist, and the patient. Often, communication between the treating surgeon and the physical therapist does not include the prescription of specific therapeutic modalities; therefore, a large variation exists in therapeutic modality practice patterns. A myriad of therapeutic modalities, including cyrotherapy, thermotherapy, ultrasonography, electrical stimulation, and iontophoresis, are used to decrease pain, improve mobility, and restore strength and function. These modalities are used in combination with rehabilitation exercise protocols to maximize function and allow patients to achieve their functional and athletic goals. An understanding of the basic principles and clinical indications for each of these modalities enables surgeons to better communicate with physical therapists to promote successful rehabilitation.

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