Orthopedic Rehab: Debunking the Myths

If you are facing a health problem such as the need for joint replacement surgery, you’ve probably heard a few horror stories. Your friends and family will repeat experiences they’ve heard from a friend of a friend or an acquaintance of a coworker who they once met… there’s a bit of similarity between stories about bad healthcare experiences and urban legends. Something bad happened to someone but the story is impossible to verify; the implication is that it is supposed to be true and therefore a real risk for you personally.

Before you go worrying yourself for nothing, educate yourself. When you hear the story that a nurse pushed a patient right from the recovery bed into the hallway for a long walk down a cold, fluorescent lit path, learn what’s really taking place. The story is probably a dramatic distortion of the truth, which involved a professional orthopedic rehabilitation therapist and a carefully guided recovery plan.

Rehabilitation is a key part of recovery. Surgery can only fix the injured part of your body, but rehab is the driving force that keeps the healing process on track and moving forward.

Orthopedic rehabilitation refers to work done to help muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons heal. Therapists work in several different ways to address rehabilitation needs including gait training, strengthening, and re-education of activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing.

A proper rehab session can decrease swelling and increase circulation after surgery, which are important aspects of treatment; it’s just not good practice to take pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs alone. While medications help, it’s better to reduce the amount of prescriptions needed by helping the body get well faster. As your blood moves more efficiently and quickly, you distribute resources needed, such as nutrients or oxygen, and carry away toxins from your joints, muscles, ligaments, and bones.

Of course, you were used to movements such as walking before you went in for surgery. However, a qualified medical professional will not simply ask you to walk without assessing your current capabilities and ensuring your movement after surgery will not cause you harm. Together, you will develop a plan that can start with something as basic as learning how to move in and out of a car when leaving the hospital to the long term goal of being independent again and not homebound.

A good healthcare provider working in your home is a real benefit because it’s likely that your house was not built as a rehab center. You may need to learn to manage stairs or a bathroom without handicap amenities. You may need training to properly change dressings to prevent infection after your surgery.

Talking to the right orthopedic rehab professional will ensure you can get well not only faster but with less frustration and a lower likelihood of readmission due to injury or infection.

As a Home Care Elite Top 100 Agency, Atrinity Home Health is the preferred choice. Doctors, family, and friends recommend us for same day joint rehab at home not just because we were the first in Connecticut to offer this critical service but because we have the experience and skill to make your rehab experience successful.