Physiotherapy assessment and diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders of the knee via telerehabilitation

The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of an online musculoskeletal physiotherapy assessment of the knee complex using telerehabilitation compared to traditional face-to-face assessment.

Lower limb musculoskeletal disorders place a heavy burden on healthcare systems. Appropriate management of these conditions is critical, however access to appropriate physiotherapy services is difficult for those in geographically remote areas or those with mobility or transport difficulties.

In a repeated-measures design, 18 subjects who sought treatment for knee pain underwent a traditional face-to-face assessment and a remote telerehabilitation assessment. Telerehabilitation assessments were conducted with participants performing facilitated self-palpation, self-applied modified orthopaedic tests, active movements and functional tasks.

Telerehabilitation assessment of the knee complex appears to be feasible and reliable. This study has implications for clinical practice and the development of physiotherapy services to address the burden of lower limb musculoskeletal pain and disability.