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Orthopedic Rehabilitation

Orthopedic Rehabilitation

Orthopedic rehabilitation, or rehab, is a doctor-supervised program to help people recover from musculoskeletal injuries, diseases or surgeries.

This includes conditions that affect the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons. It can restore motion, function, flexibility and strength to the body part needing rehabilitation. It can also reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life while dealing with an orthopedic issue. It can also help you prevent future problems. Another name for this type of program is musculoskeletal rehabilitation.

Consult Dr. Sarojini for Orthopedic Rehabilitation

The components of an orthopedic rehabilitation program may include:

Physical therapy (PT), specifically orthopedic physical therapy, to enable you to move your body better. It uses several approaches to accomplish this, including strength training, stretching exercises, massage, heat and cold therapy, electrical stimulation, and a home exercise plan. These techniques can help you move without pain or with reduced pain.

Occupational therapy (OT) to improve your ability to function in daily activities, or occupations. It teaches you new ways to approach activities and how to break down tasks into manageable sections. You may also learn how to change your environment to suit your abilities. Adaptive equipment is another useful component of OT. Examples include splints, canes, reachers and orthotics.

Sports rehabilitation, including sports physical therapy, which focuses on exercise- and sports-related injuries and conditions.

Why is orthopedic rehabilitation performed?

Doctors may recommend orthopedic rehabilitation for a variety of reasons. These include post-surgery recovery and treatment of injuries and chronic diseases, such as arthritis. Your doctor may refer you to orthopedic rehabilitation for any of these common conditions:

  • Ankle rehab for ankle injuries, such as Achilles tendon problems, ankle fractures, and sprains
  • Back rehab and lower back rehab for injuries, such as spinal fractures and herniated spinal discs
  • Hip rehab for injuries, such as hip fracture and labral tears
  • Hip replacement rehab after total hip replacement or hip resurfacing
  • Knee rehab for injuries, such as a dislocated knee or ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear
  • Knee replacement rehab after a partial or total knee replacement
  • Shoulder rehab for shoulder pain and injuries, such as a rotator cuff tear
  • Wrist rehab for conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome

Who performs orthopedic rehabilitation?

Orthopedic surgeons oversee orthopedic rehabilitation. Orthopedic surgeons treat, prevent and rehabilitate bone and joint problems. They use medical and surgical approaches to manage these types of problems. Once you are in a rehab program, you will work directly with a variety of healthcare providers. This may include a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, an exercise physiologist, and a variety of other rehab specialists.

How is orthopedic rehabilitation performed?

Orthopedic rehabilitation takes place in many settings. In the hospital, it is part of post-surgery care and helps you transition safely to being at home. Sometimes, people need to go to a rehab center for extra attention before going home. Outpatient orthopedic rehab is available in many settings. This includes hospital clinics, doctors’ offices, freestanding orthopedic clinics, and health clubs.

During orthopedic rehabilitation, a rehab therapist evaluates your condition, limitation, symptoms, pain level, and recommendations from the referring doctor. Together you’ll discuss personal goals for rehabilitation and design an individualized treatment program. Rehab specialists use objective measurements to track your progress, such as range of motion, strength and pain levels. Your therapist will share your progress with your doctor.

What are the risks and potential complications of orthopedic rehabilitation?

In general, there are few risks with orthopedic rehabilitation. The main problem would be ineffective treatment resulting in persistent problems or symptoms. You can reduce the risk of this by diligently following your treatment plan. Be sure to tell your doctor or therapist about any increase in pain or other symptoms as well. You should also discuss your rehab plan with your doctor and therapist before starting it. Ask if there are any specific risks and how to prevent them.

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