Credit points



PHTY103 Foundations of Physiotherapy Practice 2 AND ANAT102 Physiotherapy Anatomy 2

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Physiotherapists work with people presenting with neuromusculoskeletal disorders of the lower limb. This requires the ability to formulate a problem list, and develop, implement, evaluate and progress an intervention program which is efficient, effective, culturally responsive, evidence-based and person-centred. In this unit students will build on the knowledge acquired, and clinical reasoning skills developed in year 1 units (specifically clinical measurement, biomechanics of movement and exercise prescription). Students will gain new knowledge in the assessment and management of neuromusculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb across the lifespan as well as the medical and physiotherapy management of lower limb orthopaedic conditions following trauma or elective orthopaedic surgery. . This unit contains a learning outcome from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework (HCF, 2014) specifically addressing the HCF cultural capability – Humility and Lifelong Learning. The overall aim for the unit is to prepare students for professional practice in the area of musculoskeletal physiotherapy.

Learning outcomes

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome Description
LO1Apply knowledge of musculoskeletal physiology and pathophysiology, and movement science to inform and justify a safe, effective, person-centred physiotherapy management plan (assessment, intervention, evaluation and progression)
LO2Adapt and perform an interview
LO3Select, and safely and effectively apply and interpret, measurement and testing procedures to assess a person presenting with a neuromusculoskeletal disorder of the lower limb, and to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of a physiotherapy management
LO4Select, modify, and safely and effectively apply, physiotherapy interventions for a person presenting with a neuromusculoskeletal disorder of the lower limb
LO5Accurately document a physiotherapy management plan
LO6HCF1.4 Demonstrate cultural humility and explain behaviours and values required to engage in lifelong learning (GA1),


Topics will include: 

  • Pathology of lower limb 
  • Fractures and arthroplasties 
  • Fractures of lower limb 
  • Pathology and healing of fractures 
  • Principles of management including physiotherapy management 
  • Complications of immobility, trauma and fractures 
  • Manual handling 
  • Overuse injuries 
  • Tendinopathy 
  • Sprains 
  • Muscle strains 
  • Neural mechanosensitivity disorders 
  • Haematoma 
  • Medical imaging 


Physiotherapy assessment 

  • Subjective examination of lower limb disorders  
  • Physical examination of lower limb disorders  
  • Muscle strength and length 
  • Movement pattern assessment 
  • Range of motion 
  • Joint stability and integrity 
  • Identification of contraindications to physiotherapy intervention 
  • Modification of a physiotherapy assessment to accommodate cultural, social and ethical considerations encompassing cultural humility, self reflection, potential for biases and differing world views.


Physiotherapy interventions 

  • Exercise therapy 
  • Principles of exercise and evidence for exercise prescription across the lifespan 
  • Functionally specific exercise 
  • Weights, pulleys and resistance bands
  • Principles of individual education 
  • Biofeedback techniques 
  • Contraindications and precautions 
  • Manual therapy 
  • Mobilisation and manipulation techniques 
  • Massage and other soft tissue techniques 
  • Neurodynamic assessment techniques  
  • Electrophysical agents (EPA) 
  • Introduction to the use of electrophysical agents in musculoskeletal physiotherapy practice 
  •  Taping and bracing 
  • Advice and education 
  • Physiotherapy intervention that takes into account cultural, social and ethical considerations, encompassing cultural humility, self-reflection, potential for biases and differing world views.

Outcome measures 

  • Pain assessment 
  • Functional limitation assessment  
  • Range of motion 
  • Muscle strength 
  • Movement patterns 
  • Evaluate effectiveness and efficiency of physiotherapy interventions 
  • Application of outcome measures that takes into account cultural, social and ethical considerations, encompassing cultural humility, self-reflection, potential for biases and differing world views

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of learning with a combination of face-to-face, online and other directed independent learning activities.   

The theoretical knowledge underpinning assessment and intervention will be delivered via lectures and online modules. Practical classes provide students with the opportunity to develop their clinical reasoning skills through the use of case studies and, communication, assessment and treatment skills through simulation learning activities.   

Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities, demonstrating respect for the individual as an independent learner. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Accurate and adequate documentation is a legal requirement for health care professionals. Assessment task 1 (hurdle) requires students to document in a written form a patient interview, physical examination, and the rationale for physiotherapy assessment and treatment plans using accepted notation. Students will add to the portfolio over the semester. This task assesses a foundation skill relevant for subsequent physiotherapy practice academic and clinical units.  Assessment tasks 2-4 align with the presentation of the content in this unit of study.  This unit takes an authentic assessment approach allowing students to demonstrate their learning and competency for clinically relevant scenarios. Assessment tasks 2 and 3 (practical examinations) require students to assimilate and apply theoretical knowledge, and perform clinical practice skills, in order to demonstrate their emerging professional competence in the areas of assessment and treatment of people with neuromusculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb. Assessment task 4 (written examination) requires students to demonstrate acquired theoretical knowledge and assimilate and apply this knowledge to clinically relevant case scenarios. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Hurdle task: Written assessment

Enables students to demonstrate the ability to perform and document a patient interview, and plan and document the outcomes of assessments and treatments of common lower limb conditions for patients, with consideration of cultural differences including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

Assessment task 2: Mid-semester practical examination: 

Enables students to demonstrate competency in professional behaviour, clinical reasoning and the ability to undertake appropriate assessment and treatment techniques on a peer for conditions covered in the first half of the semester. 


LO1, LO3, LO4

Assessment task 3: End-semester practical examination: 

Enables students to demonstrate competency in professional behaviour, clinical reasoning and the ability to undertake appropriate assessment and treatment techniques on a peer for conditions covered in the second half of semester. 


LO1, LO3, LO4

Assessment task 4: End-semester written examination:  

Enables students to demonstrate their acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the implications for physiotherapy practice for neuromusculoskeletal disorders of the lower limb and, to articulate the rationale for assessment and intervention choices for clinically relevant case scenarios. 


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

Representative texts and references

Constantinou, M., & Brown, M. (2010). Therapeutic taping for musculoskeletal conditions. Sydney Chatswood: Elsevier.

Dunleavy, K. & Slowik, AK. (2019). Therapeutic exercise prescription. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.

Hattam, & Smeatham, A. (2020). Handbook of special tests in musculoskeletal examination : an evidence-based guide for clinicians (Second edition.). Elsevier.

Hengeveld, E., & Banks, K. (2014). Maitland’s peripheral manipulation. (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Keleher, M., & MacDougall, C. (2009). Understanding health: a determinants approach (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

Lin, Green, C., & Bessarab, D. (2016). “Yarn with me”: applying clinical yarning to improve clinician-patient communication in Aboriginal health care. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 22(5), 377-382.

Magee, D. J. (2021). Orthopedic physical assessment (Seventh edition.). Elsevier.

Multicultural Health: A guide for Health Professionals,

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