Evolving concepts in ventral hernia repair and physical therapy: prehabilitation, rehabilitation, and analogies to tendon reconstruction.
PURPOSE: The abdominal wall and musculoskeletal tendons share many anatomic, physiologic, and functional characteristics. This review aims to highlight these similar characteristics and to present a rationale why the treatment principles of successful musculoskeletal tendon reconstruction, including principles of surgical technique and physical therapy, can be used in the treatment of complex abdominal wall reconstruction or ventral hernia repair. METHODS: The MEDLINE/PubMed database was used to identify published literature relevant to the purpose of this review. CONCLUSIONS: There are several anatomical and functional similarities between the linea alba and musculoskeletal tendons. Because of this reason, many of the surgical principles for musculoskeletal tendon repair and ventral hernia repair overlap. Distribution of tension is the main driving principle for both procedures. Suture material and configuration are chosen to maximize tension distribution among the tissue edges, as seen in the standard of care multistrand repairs for musculoskeletal tendons, as well as in the small bites for laparotomy technique described in the STITCH trial. Physical therapy is also one of the mainstays of tendon repair, but surprisingly, is not routine in ventral hernia repair. The evidence surrounding physical therapy prehabilitation and rehabilitation protocols in other disciplines is significant. This review challenges the fact that these protocols are not routinely implemented for ventral hernia repair, and presents the rationale and feasibility for the routine practice of physical therapy in ventral hernia repair.
Perez, J. E., M. A. Schmidt, A. Narvaez, L. K. Welsh, R. Diaz, M. Castro, K. Ansari, et al. “Evolving concepts in ventral hernia repair and physical therapy: prehabilitation, rehabilitation, and analogies to tendon reconstruction.” Hernia, September 21, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10029-020-02304-5.