If you’ve been told that you’d benefit from physical therapy after an injury or surgery, the prospect of getting set up with a therapist and going through the program can seem daunting. Trust us when we say that it’s not as daunting as it seems, and it can actually be a very physically and mentally rewarding experience when you have the right physical therapist guiding you on your journey. At OrthoRehab Specialists, we believe we can achieve this by practicing a collaborative approach with our patients. We explain why we believe in our collaborative approach and what that entails in today’s blog.
Our Collaborative Approach
In order to get the most out of your physical therapy sessions, both the patient and physical therapist need to work together. That’s the mindset behind our collaborative approach to physical therapy. When both sides are doing everything they can to help the client, that’s when we see the biggest functional improvements.
So what goes into this collaborative approach? Some things we work towards with each client include:
- Open and Honest Communication – It’s very important to have an open and honest line of communication between both parties. We’re going to be very straightforward in what we expect of you, and we hope you’ll hold us to the same standards. If you have questions, please don’t be afraid to ask. Clarifying confusion or explaining why we’re choosing certain therapies can help reinforce why we’re doing what we’re doing, and that can give the client more confidence. Finally, it’s important that you don’t lie about symptoms or your adherence to your physical therapy routine, because that can make it harder for us to best treat you. If you haven’t been performing your home exercises, let us know. We’re not here to judge. We’ll help find a routine that you look forward to.
- Regular Reassessment – Next, we want our patient to know that we’re not just going to provide an assessment at the outset, give them some exercises and then just sit back and relax while they continue through their rehab. We’re constantly reassessing your functional abilities as you progress through your rehab. This way we can adjust what’s not working and add new challenges when you’ve conquered lesser tasks. This also helps us visualize your progress. When we watch you perform your exercises, we’re constantly reassessing your baseline skills so you can get the most out of PT.
- A Meeting Of Minds – Even though you may be assigned a specific physical therapist, we want you to know that our whole team is behind you on your quest to recover. Our therapists are constantly bouncing ideas off one another and sharing ideas to help treat every patient that walks through our door. We coordinate with one another and can also contact your treating physician to pick their brain about some of the best ways to help treat your condition. You may be getting one-on-one training, but know that your therapist’s knowledge of conditions and treatments is sourced from a variety of experienced medical professionals.
- Determining Your Goals – Finally, our collaborative approach involves figuring out exactly what our clients want to get out of their therapy sessions. Maybe they want to get back to competitive sports at a high level, or maybe they simply want to eliminate the back pain that has plagued them for months. If we don’t know what you hope to get out of physical therapy, we can’t provide you with the best treatment possible. We’re going to sit down with you and ask about your goals so that we can get you set up on the path to achieve them.
If you’re interested in taking on a collaborative approach to physical therapy, reach out to OrthoRehab Specialists today.
Can Young Patients Get A Knee Replacement?
Knee replacement surgery is more common on older individuals whose knee joints have been damaged by osteoarthritis or the natural aging process. However, seniors are far from the only group who are undergoing partial and total knee replacement operations. More younger patients are inquiring about the operation, and there are a number of reasons why we’re fielding an uptick in calls from a younger population. We explore those reasons and talk about knee replacement operations for patients in their 40s and 50s in today’s blog.
Knee Replacement In Younger Adults
So why are younger patients inquiring about partial and total knee replacement operations? There are many factors that are contributing to this increase, including:
- Advancements In Technology – Artificial knees have become much more durable than they were in the past. Previously, surgeons may have been hesitant to outfit a younger patient with an artificial knee because there was a higher likelihood that they would need to eventually have that artificial joint replaced as it slowly wore down over time. Nowadays, roughly 90 percent of patients are still going strong on their artificial knee 20 years after surgery, and many are going years beyond that date. As the life expectancy of these artificial joints grows, the age at which we can comfortably believe that a patient can undergo a replacement and reasonably expect not to need a second surgery will continue to get younger.
- Surgery Is Getting Smaller – Advancements in minimally invasive surgery mean that it’s less taxing on a patient to have a replacement operation performed than it was in the past. Since it’s no longer as physically demanding to receive an artificial knee, surgeons are more likely to consider it as a realistic option for patients who aren’t responding to conservative treatment.
- We’re Getting Bigger – Although surgery is getting smaller, we as a nation are getting bigger, and that doesn’t bode well for our knees. A recent report by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 40 percent of American adults are considered obese. This extra weight means your knees are channeling more stress with every step you take. And while the survey doesn’t specify the ages most at risk for obesity, it’s reasonable to expect that younger patients are also more likely to be obese than past generations. Obesity speeds up joint degeneration, so it’s no surprise that some patients are considering replacement operations at a younger age.
- Better Outcomes – Younger patients tend to be in better overall health than older counterparts, and while this certainly isn’t the case for everyone, being in better health helps immensely following a surgical operation. Younger patients tend to recover faster and bounce back quicker following an injury or operation, so they have some advantages compared to older patients undergoing a knee replacement operation.
- More Healthy Knee Compartments – Advancements in partial knee replacement mean that we can replace part of the joint while leaving the healthy areas intact. Younger patients are more likely to have damage to certain knee compartments compared to older generations who tend to have more unilateral knee degeneration from conditions like arthritis. Because we as a society are getting better at partial knee replacement operations, younger patients have another tool to pursue if they want to fix their knee problems without undergoing a total knee replacement.
So if you are in your 40s or 50s, know that a knee replacement operation is not out of the question. It won’t be the first treatment method we pursue, but we’re not going to force you to wait a decade for surgery if you’re not responding to conservative care. To learn more about your options, reach out to Dr. Botero’s office today.