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Musculoskeletal injury in children and skeletally immature adolescents: Overview of rehabilitation for nonoperative injuries

Gabriel P Brooks, PT, DPT, SCS, MTC
Albert C Hergenroeder, MD
Jonathan Santana, DO
Section Editor
Joseph Chorley, MD
Deputy Editor
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH


This topic reviews the phases of musculoskeletal injury rehabilitation as they relate to the phases of healing, the transition from one phase to the next, the maintenance of cardiovascular fitness during rehabilitation, and the progression of goals that must be met before return to sports participation. The treatment principles and modalities are discussed separately. (See "Musculoskeletal injury in children and skeletally immature adolescents: Overview of treatment principles for nonoperative injuries".)


Proper prescription of physical therapy is vital to the completion of healing and a timely return to sports participation. The phases of rehabilitation correspond to the phases of healing:

Inflammatory phase (0 to 72 hours after injury)

Reparative/fibroblastic phase (72 hours to 3 weeks after injury)

Maturation/remodeling phase (3 weeks to 2 years after injury)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Dec 04, 2017.
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