Rehabilitation of Lower Extremity Trauma: a Review of Principles and Military Perspective on Future Directions

Benjamin W. Hoyt, Gabriel J. Pavey, Paul F. Pasquina, Benjamin K. Potter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The rehabilitation of individuals with lower extremity injury is a common but complex problem for the surgical and rehabilitative teams. Basic science tenets of fracture and soft tissue reconstruction and healing guide postoperative weight-bearing and range of motion protocols. In addition to the physiological complications associated with the injury severity, patient outcomes are often influenced by other factors such as patient compliance, pain, depression, and the negative effects of immobility. As a result, novel rehabilitative protocols to include early weight bearing, continuous passive motion, psychosocial intervention, and multimodal pain management are becoming more popular to facilitate rehabilitation and improved patient outcomes. Further supporting the need for this shift in paradigm thinking are outcome studies of both civilian and military trauma patients that demonstrate the negative impact that psychological, social, and economical factors have on outcomes. This report highlights the experience that our team has had in instituting comprehensive rehabilitation strategies to treat injured service members with complex lower extremity trauma from combat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Trauma Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic pain
  • Limb salvage
  • Lower extremity trauma
  • Rehabilitation protocols
  • Weight bearing


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