An orthopedic injury and subsequent surgical treatment can result in limited physical movement. Where there are limitations in body mechanics, even temporarily, there is a loss of freedom. Orthopedic rehabilitation is the process through which patients receive the expert care they need to rebuild an optimal quality of life.
What is orthopedic rehabilitation?
Orthopedic rehabilitation is a personalized post-treatment program that focuses on the specific improvements a patient needs to achieve. For example, physical therapy services during orthopedic rehabilitation can expedite healing after surgery and restore adequate range of motion to an injured joint.
Why do I need post-op orthopedic rehab?
Studies have suggested that post-operative orthopedic rehabilitation aids in a patient’s recovery process. A personalized program addresses the issue of pain management and facilitates a return to work, athletics, and an overall active lifestyle that is free of chronic pain. The staff at Summit Healthcare Orthopedic Center seeks to empower patients to heal as quickly as possible and regain optimal physical capabilities that support their desired lifestyle.
Goals of Rehabilitation
The goals of orthopedic rehabilitation may vary based on the timeline of recovery. Initially, inpatient care may involve a multi-disciplinary approach to reinstate normal physical function and the performance of daily activities. Objectives also include a safe and pain-free return to work, hobbies, or sports. Through appropriate therapies, a rehabilitation program sets the foundation for independent living as well as active support among family members when needed.
Outpatient orthopedic rehabilitation may center around the improvement of physical function, also beginning with daily activities and progressing to work and other physical pursuits.
When necessary, rehabilitation revolves around the development of healthy pain management strategies, lifestyle habits, and learning to use adaptive equipment such as a prosthetic or brace.
Benefits of Orthopedic Rehabilitation
Patients who engage in a custom orthopedic rehabilitation plan receive benefits such as:
- Restored range of motion and physical function in an injured joint
- Muscle strength around an injured joint to reduce the risk of future injury
- Improved circulation after surgery to support healing and minimize the risk of blood clots
- Faster return to normal activities
What activities are involved in rehabilitation?
Orthopedic rehabilitation may look different for every patient. Some of the common aspects of care include:
- Interdisciplinary therapies for pain management
- Physical therapy focused on functional movement and improved strength
- Occupational therapy focused on the performance of daily activities
- The learned use of orthotics, braces, or other equipment
- Patient education regarding injury prevention and risk factors
- Assistance with functional living space that supports a safe discharge
- Adaptive recreational or sports programs
Every rehabilitation plan is unique and based on the short and long-term needs of the patient.
What to Expect During Rehabilitation
An orthopedic rehabilitation program may take place in the hospital or on an outpatient basis. Details are decided upon by patient and doctor based on the severity of the injury, type of surgery, and other factors. Minor injuries and procedures such as the repair of the ACL in the knee may be rehabilitated with physical therapy in an outpatient setting. Severe breaks or significant procedures such as knee or hip replacement may require a short inpatient stay.
Inpatient care may involve multiple medical teams, including the surgeon, nursing staff, and physical and occupational therapists. Teams work independently but toward the same goal of achieving significant gains in physical function within a reasonable time frame. Patients can expect to engage in at least a few hours of therapy each day, up to six days a week. Family members may also be involved in rehabilitation in order to understand the physical needs and limitations to expect after discharge.
The physical therapy aspect of rehabilitation may focus on movements such as getting in and out of bed safely, moving from a seated to a standing position and walking up and down stairs. Occupational therapy may involve daily tasks such as getting dressed, bathing, eating, and moving around in a room.
How long does rehab treatment last?
Orthopedic rehabilitation may last a few days or several months depending on the extent of physical function that needs to be regained. Inpatient programs are often planned in anticipation of discharge within approximately 10 days. Inpatient rehabilitation may be followed by outpatient care as needed to fully restore mobility and comfortable living.
Schedule a Consultation
Contact us to learn more about the orthopedic rehabilitation services available at Summit Healthcare Orthopedic Center. Call 928.537.6363 to schedule an appointment. Our practice serves Snowflake, Show Low, and surrounding areas in Arizona.