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PHTY91-408: Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy I


Musculoskeletal physiotherapy is a core area of practice. Students will integrate and extend their knowledge of clinically related musculoskeletal anatomy and tissue response to disease and trauma. The physiotherapist’s role in enhancing normal tissue healing and repair will be introduced. The impact of different conditions (rheumatological, degenerative, acute and repetitive trauma) upon the upper and lower limb and vertebral column will be explored.  Students will develop their ability to assess clients encountered in the inpatient orthopaedic and outpatient settings. Using sound clinical reasoning and evidence-based approach students will construct, evaluate and modify treatment to meet short and long term client goals.

Subject details

FacultyFaculty of Health Sciences & Medicine
Study areas
  • Health Sciences
Subject fees
  • Commencing in 2020: $11,720

Learning outcomes

1. Apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology and the mechanisms of healing and repair in different musculoskeletal tissues (muscle, tendon, ligament, bone and nerve) to explain the pathogenesis and common signs and symptoms of upper and lower limb conditions across the life span.
2. Discuss with evidence based support, the role of physiotherapy in achieving the maximum positive effect on healing in musculoskeletal tissues.
3. Explain the scope of practice of physiotherapy and interaction with members of the health care team in the management of vertebral, upper and lower limb musculoskeletal conditions in the inpatient, outpatient and community clinical settings.
4. Conduct a client interview, including informed consent, analyse findings and propose a provisional diagnosis for musculoskeletal conditions of the vertebral column, upper and lower limb.
5. Plan and perform an appropriate physical examination safely, based on the provisional diagnosis, for vertebral, upper and lower limb musculoskeletal conditions (including fractures in the immobilisation or post immobilisation phase, spinal surgery, rheumatological, degenerative, overuse or traumatic conditions and pre and post joint replacement.)
6. Interpret and prioritise assessment results to confirm the primary provisional diagnosis and design an appropriate treatment intervention using evidence-based rationale to meet short and long term client goals.
7. Perform, analyse and modify treatment interventions safely, efficiently and effectively, with informed consent. These interventions will include manual therapy, exercise therapy, electro physical modalities, prescription of mobility and assistive devices, health maintenance and promotion, and behavioural interventions to maximise treatment compliance.
8. Select appropriate outcome measures to evaluate treatment intervention effectiveness and where necessary modify the intervention using clinical reasoning and knowledge of the evidence for practice.
9. Accurately document physiotherapy assessment, treatment, patient goals, handover notes and discharge plans in the legal format required by relevant institution (hospital inpatient and out-patient, community and private practice settings).
10. Effectively communicate, in a culturally appropriate manner with peers, educators and simulated clients.
11. Demonstrate an understanding and an appreciation of the mechanisms of action of pharmacological agents commonly used for musculoskeletal conditions and pain management in the inpatient orthopaedic ward environment.
12. Describe and contrast the indications and interpretation of current medical imaging techniques for different musculoskeletal pathologies.
13. Discuss and compare current musculoskeletal orthopaedic surgical procedures for the vertebral column, upper and lower limb.
14. Demonstrate effective leadership and teaching skills, a commitment to learning and evidence based practice and the ability to work collaboratively in a team.

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?
  • Study Abroad Students

Subject outlines

Subject dates

Future offerings not yet planned.