Orthopaedic Physiotherapy is one of the most sought after services by patients who are undergoing a planned surgery or those who are admitted in hospitals because of traumatic accidents. It is offered by specialized and trained therapists who know exactly the various approaches to take depending on the condition of the patient.
Who Benefits from Orthopaedic Physiotherapy?
Patients who are going through elective procedures including hip replacement, elbow replacement, back surgery, anterior or posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, knee replacement, or peripheral and spinal joint injections among others.
Apart from elective patients, trauma patients suffering from fractured neck, lower limb fractures, spinal fractures and other musculoskeletal conditions can also benefit from Orthopaedic Physiotherapy.
Patients who go through Orthopaedic Physiotherapy are often treated as inpatients especially in cases involving trauma victims. In some cases, elective patients can be attended to by a physiotherapists in their initial appointments as outpatients.
Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Assessment
Orthopaedic Physiotherapy involves assessment sessions which are done in different areas including orthopaedic wards. The initial assessment lasts between 15 and 30 minutes. It is usually done while you are in your bed clothes and this gives proper access to the affected areas. The nature of the assessment will depend on your specific case and the symptoms manifested. Some of the common areas covered in the assessment include:
• Joint range of movement
• Muscle tightness
• Muscle strength
• Altered sensation
• Chest assessment and breathing patterns
• State of current mobility with or without walking aids
• A detailed review of your daily living activities
After the assessment, the Orthopaedic physiotherapist will have a session where they will discuss their findings with you as pertains to your condition and how each of these findings impacts your overall health and quality of life. From these findings, the physiotherapist will then initiate a treatment plan.
Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Plan
In line with your needs and treatment demands, the physiotherapist will recommend certain treatment procedures. Before any procedure is done, it will be communicated to you and your consent sought. The common treatment plans include:
• A wide range of mobility exercises
• Targeted strengthening exercises
• Transfer practice
• Mobility practice where a walking aid is provided where necessary
• In cases where a walking aid is used, the physiotherapist will monitor the progression of your mobility and take you through gait re-education
If the treatment necessitates that you be an inpatient, the nurses in the wards together with the physiotherapist will constantly check on your progress while in the ward. Even after being discharged, you may need to be reviewed from time to time so as to be sure that you are progressing well. Patients who have undergone joint replacement are usually enrolled in a gym-based joint replacement class or given an outpatient physiotherapy appointment. Trauma patients on the other hand may be referred to fracture clinics depending on how they are progressing with the treatment.
The Role that You Play
As a patient, you have an important role in enhancing the treatment process. One of the areas where your input is required is in following the exercise instructions that you have been given by the physiotherapist or the consultant. This will accelerate the healing process enabling you to get back on your feet sooner than you had initially imagined.