An Introduction to Physiotherapy for the Orthopaedic Patient

Course Overview

This course will help you to do more in practice to optimise the recovery of patients following orthopaedic surgery – in particular, patients that have undergone surgery for cruciate repair, spinal surgery and limb fractures.

Your learning on the course will provide a basic introduction that will enable vets and nurses in first opinion or referral practice, to learn some simple techniques that can be greatly beneficial to help optimise patient healing, maintain mobility, and improve comfort levels, as part of the multi-modal approach to rehabilitation.

We will look at the specific case considerations as well as the use of standard techniques such as effleurage and petrissage; passive range of movement exercises, stretching, improving proprioception and balance, and strength-building.

We will also look at the support we can offer to owners in caring for their pets after surgery, including exercise advice, and minor adaptations to the home that can help to maintain mobility for these patients and lessen the risk of injury or protracted recovery.

The skills that you will learn on this course will enable you to to set up basic post-operative management and rehabilitation clinics and provide a more thorough, rounded and rewarding service to your orthopaedic patients, and clients will appreciate this extra level of service you will be able to offer.

We will also help you to understand when referral to a qualified veterinary physiotherapist may be indicated.

A good knowledge of physiology and anatomy, (with a recap on this topic if you haven’t studied for a while) is suggested to ensure you get the best from the course.

Course Syllabus

Topics covered on this course include:

  • Exploring the three specific conditions (spinal and cruciate surgery and fracture repair), including their pathological changes
  • Common indications for the conditions
  • Conservative management vs surgical management
  • Ways to aid discomfort and optimise the healing process through simple exercises and techniques
  • Basic massage and use of effleurage and petrissage
  • Passive range of movement exercises
  • Stretching, improving proprioception and balance
  • Strength building (with and without basic apparatus)
  • Heat therapy
  • Application and contra-indications for the techniques discussed on the course
  • Making the home environment safe during the post operative period
  • Developing a treatment plan for these patients
  • When to involve qualified physiotherapists within treatment
Course Resources

Course resources include:

  • Access to our flexible online learning environment for the duration of the course
  • Informative narrated lecture/s that can be viewed at any time, and as many times as you like
  • Interactive, tutor-guided learning forums
  • Multiple supporting materials, tools and ideas for assisting with and supporting your clinics
  • Assessed coursework with constructive feedback from your tutor
  • Practical documents created by you, tailored to the needs of your practice
  • Access to the course materials for a period after the course

Course Summary

Course duration: 3 weeks (hours flexible/self-directed study time in total)

Course type: Fully supported interactive online

Tutor: Kerrie Oakley

Suitable for: Veterinary nurses, vets.



Complete your purchase

Simply add the courses you wish to book to your shopping cart, also selecting the start dates of your choice. You will then be guided through the secure checkout to complete your purchase.

Fill out the registration form

Once payment is complete, you will receive an email asking for candidate details. Complete the form and submit. We must receive your registration in order to process your enrolment.

When do I start learning?

When you have successfully submitted your candidate registration, you will receive a confirmation message. You will be contacted prior to the course start date with information on how to join the VLE.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, successful candidates will be able to:

  • Understand the basic post operative physiotherapy requirements for orthopaedic patients

  • Be able to carry out and demonstrate simple techniques and exercises to optimise the recovery of patients who have undergone cruciate repair, fracture repair and spinal surgeries.

  • Have a clear idea how to set up a clinic to enable multimodal support and maintenance for the orthopaedic patient

ONCORE laptop course

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about any of our courses or online learning in general, or would just like a chat about your CPD requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kerrie runs Veterinary Physiotherapy business Hounds to Horses Physiotherapy

Your Tutor

Kerrie Oakley

Dip A Phys RVN Cert Ed