Physical therapists have extensive experience in orthopedic diagnoses and are experts in evaluating, treating and managing patients with these conditions. Some of these conditions include sprains, strains, tendonitis, arthritis, ligament tears, muscle tears, joint/muscle/tendon inflammations, post-fracture injury, joint stiffness, joint pain, rotator cuff repair, ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) reconstruction, and post arthroscopic and total joint replacement surgeries.
What Is Orthopedic Physical Therapy and How Can It Help?
Orthopedic physical therapy focuses on the treatment or rehabilitation of injuries to the musculoskeletal system, which includes muscles, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Physical therapy is often helpful in the treatment of impairments such as pain, decreased strength, decreased range of motion, or swelling.
What Are the Most Common Orthopedic Surgeries Requiring Post-Operative Physical Therapy?
The most common surgeries requiring post-operative physical therapy would be for the knees and shoulders. Today, most knee and shoulder surgeries are performed arthroscopically.
Some specific surgeries for the knee would be ACL reconstruction, meniscectomy, meniscus repair, and lateral release of the patella.
Common surgeries for the shoulder would be rotator cuff repair, acromioplasty (shaving of bone spurs on the acromion), SLAP repair, and capsular tightening for loose shoulder joints.
In addition, joint replacement surgeries such as total knee replacements and total hip replacements often need post-surgical outpatient physical therapy.
Where Could Your Pain Be Coming From?
Most of the orthopedic injuries fall under one of two categories gradual onset or a traumaticinjury.
Gradual onset conditions tend to be arthritis or tendonitis conditions such as osteoarthritis, glenohumeral (shoulder pain) pain, patellofemoral (knee cap) pain, bicep tendonitis and patella tendonitis.
The most common diagnoses for a traumatic injury are rotator cuff tear, ACL , MCL, and meniscus tears.
Patients respond well to physical therapy in most cases of both gradual onset or traumatic injuries.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) usually help with conditions aggravated by inflammation (the suffix “itis” means “inflammation of”). Some common inflammatory conditions would be arthritis (inflammation of a joint), plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, posterior tibialis tendonitis (shin splints), and lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow).
Physical therapy may be beneficial for inflammatory conditions that do not improve through rest and medication.