If you’ve had an injury, surgery, or any disruption to your musculoskeletal system, you may find it hard to move around. If you feel pain, weakness, or stiffness, you may need orthopedic rehabilitation.
Orthopedic rehabilitation is a therapeutic approach to recovery from surgery and treatment of injuries and chronic diseases.
Orthopedic rehab helps correct musculoskeletal limitations and alleviate pain from illness, surgery, or trauma.
What Types of Health Conditions and Orthopedic Injuries Require Orthopedic Rehab?
Bones are living tissues that are constantly being broken down and replaced. If the creation of new bones does not keep up with the loss of old bones, osteoporosis occurs. When this happens, the bones become weak and brittle to a point where even mild stresses such as bending over can cause a fracture.
Typically, there are no symptoms in the early stages of osteoporosis. However, when bones have been weakened, some symptoms that may arise include a stooped posture; loss of height over time; back pain usually caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra; and, a bone that breaks easily.
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or several joints in your body. Joint pain and stiffness are the main symptoms of arthritis and these worsen as you age. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common types of arthritis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is also called median nerve compression. This condition causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in your hand. This happens when the median nerve, one of the major nerves to the hand, is compressed as it travels through a narrow passageway in the wrist called the carpal tunnel.
Symptoms of this condition include weakness in your hand and trouble holding objects; tingling that moves up into your arm; burning, tingling, or itching numbness in your palm and thumb or your index and middle fingers.
Sciatica refers to a condition when you feel pain that affects the sciatic nerve, a large nerve that extends from the lower back down through your hips and buttocks and down the back of your legs. Sciatica typically affects only one side of your body.
This condition most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spaces within the spine), or a bone spur compresses part of the sciatic nerve. When this happens, the affected leg will feel numb or painful and may be inflamed.
When the blood supply to part of your brain is reduced or interrupted, a stroke occurs and this will prevent the brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients. When this happens, brain cells begin to die and the patient must receive medical treatment immediately.
Symptoms of stroke include: a sudden, severe headache sometimes accompanied by dizziness, vomiting, or altered consciousness; problem seeing in one or both eyes; having trouble walking; loss of coordination; sudden weakness, numbness, or paralysis in your face, arm or leg; slurring or having difficulty understanding speech.
The three types of stroke are Ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, and transient ischemic attack (“mini-stroke”).
- ACL tears
An ACL tear is a tear or sprain on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is one of the major ligaments in your knee. Athletes who play basketball, soccer, football, or downhill skiing are more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments.
When an ACL injury occurs, you hear or feel a “pop” in the knee. However, this does not happen to everyone. More common symptoms are pain, swelling during the first 24 hours of the incident, having trouble walking, and loss of range of motion.
- Meniscus tear
A meniscus tear is one of the most frequently occurring cartilage injuries of the knee. This type of injury can happen when you change direction suddenly while running. This often occurs at the same time as other injuries like an ACL tear. This is a common injury for older athletes since the meniscus weakens with age.
Some symptoms are pain in the knee, swelling, a popping sensation during the time of the injury, difficulty in bending and straightening the leg, a tendency for your knee to get “stuck.”
- Broken bones
A bone breaks when a strong outside force is exerted on it. Trauma such as a fall or vehicle accident is a common cause of fractures. However, a person suffering from osteoporosis is more likely to suffer from fractures or broken bones because he/she has weaker bones. Repetitive motion can also tire muscles and can put more force on bones resulting in stress fractures.
Common symptoms of broken bones are pain, bruising, swelling, deformity, warmth, and weakness in the site of the injury.
- Total Hip, shoulder, or knee replacement
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which parts of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with a metal, plastic or ceramic device called a prosthesis.”
The goals of joint replacement surgery are to relieve the patient’s pain, to help the joint to work better, and to improve movement using the joint (e.g. walking for knees, bending for hips, etc.)
Amputation is the surgical removal of all or part of a limb or extremity such as a finger, hand, arm, toe, foot, or leg. Amputation is also a form of orthopedic surgery since it is among the common procedures performed by orthopedic surgeons.
The most common reason for an amputation is poor circulation caused by damage or narrowing of the arteries (peripheral arterial disease). If the body’s cells cannot get oxygen and nutrients they need from the bloodstream due to inadequate blood flow, the affected tissue will start to die and infection may set in. Thus, amputation is necessary. Other reasons for amputation include severe injuries (e.g. serious burns, vehicle accident, etc.); frostbite, neuroma (thickening of nerve tissue); a cancerous tumor in the bone or muscle of the limb; and, serious infections that do not heal with the use of antibiotics or other treatment.
Why Should Patients Undergo Orthopedic Rehabilitation?
The most significant focus of the medical rehabilitation field is orthopedics. Just like surgery, drugs, and other minimally invasive interventions, rehabilitation is an important part of the care of various musculoskeletal conditions. Without orthopedic rehabilitation as part of a patient’s treatment, the care for these musculoskeletal conditions may only partially succeed or ultimately fail.
To some, orthopedics merely involves total joint replacement surgery such as knee, hip, and shoulder replacement procedures. As stated earlier, orthopedic rehabilitation is recommended by doctors as a therapeutic approach to treat a wide variety of conditions that affect your musculoskeletal system. These conditions include injury or post-surgery treatments.
Orthopedic rehabilitation is vital to restoring a patient’s independent and healthy lifestyle.
Do Patients Have to be Confined in the Hospital to Undergo Orthopedic Rehabilitation?
Inpatient orthopedic rehabilitation may be more suitable for you if you’ve had a severe injury or major surgery. However, if you manage well in your day-to-day activities, outpatient rehabilitation may be a better choice.
Vigor Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation is a therapist-owned physical and occupational therapy clinic that provides outpatient orthopedic rehabilitation to patients needing further treatment to help recover from surgery, injury, and chronic illness.
At Vigor Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation, we provide superior patient-centered service that emphasizes on ample treatment time, a hands-on approach, and a strong relationship with a dedicated therapist.
If you need more details or if you have other questions, you can contact us or visit our clinic.