If you have had joint replacement surgery or are in the process of planning a procedure with your medical team, there is no doubt that you'll be hoping to recover as quickly as possible. After all, the whole point of having a joint replaced or repaired is to regain function, mobility, and independence – to get back on your feet and back to a healthy, active life.
An intensive rehabilitation therapy program is an extremely important element in moving the recovery process along quickly. While checking into another facility right after you've been sprung from the hospital may not be your fondest wish, a good inpatient short term rehab program is the best place to find the comprehensive therapy you need. Here are 3 ways inpatient rehab can work to minimize the time it takes to get back in shape after joint replacement surgery as compared to outpatient or home-based therapy.
More closely coordinated, comprehensive care planning and execution
Using outpatient services often means seeing therapists, medical professionals, and other care providers in separate offices. This fragmented approach to rehabilitation can allow important details of treatment to slip through the cracks as information travels (or fails to travel) between the various providers' offices.
Inpatient rehabilitation, on the other hand, offers the distinct advantage of a team approach to care. In a good short term rehab program, patients are assessed and treated by a physician-led team of rehabilitation specialists, ranging from doctors and wound care specialists to physical and occupational therapists, nutrition counselors, case managers, and social workers, among others. All of these professionals are under one roof, which allows for open and effective communication of the treatment needs, goals, and plans of patients via regular team meetings. The result is exceptional coordination of care, which promotes better, faster rehabilitation and recovery.
Better access to therapists, equipment, and facilities
Patients who participate in an inpatient rehabilitation program after joint replacement surgery typically get at least three hours of therapy daily, whereas outpatient therapy generally means visiting a therapy clinic for an hour or so, two or three times a week. Additionally, a stay in an inpatient program means all-day access to the program's staff, equipment, and facilities, which provides the means for patients to work safely and effectively towards their rehab goals between therapy sessions. The combination of more frequent and regular therapy and greater access to rehabilitation resources promotes faster, more complete recoveries.
Reduced stress during recovery
A stay in an inpatient rehab program after surgery takes the responsibility of managing the details of recovery – wound care, pain management, medications, meals and therapy/medical appointments, for instance – off of the patient and places it into the hands of trained professionals. Not only does this reduce daily stress, leaving patients free to focus all their time and energy on recovery, but it also leads to more effective pain management and reduced risk of complications.
Last, but certainly not least, having the emotional support of other patients who are facing the same daily challenges can greatly reduce stress and frustration during the recovery process, helping keep motivation levels high for quick, successful recoveries.