What is Orthopedic Rehab and What Can it Treat?

Orthopedic rehabilitation is a range of physical therapies that help a person deal with specific problems of the musculoskeletal system of the body. These problems could be caused by illness, surgery, cancer or injury or even certain types of repetitive stress, which could limit a person’s sphere of activity and mobility and negatively impact quality of life.

Orthopedic rehab could include a range of services that help increase independence and optimize functioning to restore quality of life to the extent possible. The aim of this type of rehab is to bridge the distance between hospital and home.

What is orthopedic rehab?

Orthopedic rehab typically consists of a detailed evaluation of a person’s range of mobility, pain levels, strength, and other symptoms and a subsequent series of one on one therapy sessions with a therapist or team based on that evaluation. The type of therapy and its duration is decided based on the extent of the injury, the overall health of a patient and a patient’s specific needs. These considerations will also decide whether the rehab is to be administered in a nursing home facility or an outpatient setting.

Therapy endeavors to restore a person’s fitness, mobility and natural strength with the help of physical exercises and other modalities using machines, massage, heat and cold applications. The therapy is geared to lessen pain and regain mobility. The therapist also educates a patient regarding their condition, specific dos and don’ts that could impact recovery, and offers self management information and training.

Therapy may also include assistive/adaptive devices that may be used both during and after the period of rehab. The therapist or therapy team may also help offer information and support to the family and devise a community re-entry program in cases, particularly severe cases that are a part of in-patient rehab programs.

What conditions can be addressed by orthopedic rehab?

Various conditions can be treated with the help of these therapy sessions. Surgical procedures such as knee replacement, hip surgery, spinal fusion and ankle reconstructions as well as compete amputations, shoulder replacements, rotor cuff repairs and so on can be helped greatly with rehab.

Injuries such as back and neck pain, tendonitis of the shoulder or knee, repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel may also benefit greatly. Post stroke rehab, chronic pain syndromes, peripheral neuropathy and spinal injuries can also be managed with the help of a rehab program.

How to pick an orthopedic rehab facility?

You may want to check if the treatment facility or nursing home you’re considering specializes in orthopedic rehab. Do they have the requisite specially trained medical personnel including board certified therapists and adequate skilled nursing? Does the facility offer one on one therapy sessions?

Ideally you should look for compassionate and compressive care based on the latest techniques and medical advancements. Therapy should extend beyond just the sessions between therapist and patient and should help the person make the back-to-home transition including proper transportation home, equipment to adapt to the home setting as well as guidance and advice not just for the patient but for their family as well.

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