If you have had orthopedic surgery or are planning a procedure, your health care team has likely suggested short term rehabilitation to aid in your recovery. People who participate in rehab programs after orthopedic surgery – especially those who have had joint replacement procedures or surgeries to repair hip fractures – tend to have better outcomes than those who don't. Here we'll look into how these programs can lead to faster, more complete, and more comfortable recovery from orthopedic surgery.
Short term rehabilitation programs offer a wide range of services designed to help patients make the most of their recovery period. These services are intensely focused on providing the care, support, and therapies patients need to achieve their own optimal level of health, function, mobility, and independence.
Care and rehabilitation plans are unique to each patient, formulated to meet their individual needs and determined through a thorough evaluation by a team of rehabilitation specialists. Then patients are treated by that team, which typically includes physicians and nurses to oversee the medical aspects of recovery, such as wound care and pain control; as well as physical and occupational therapists to aid patients in improving strength, flexibility, balance, and physical function. The services of counselors and social workers are made available to patients as well, and the coordination of these and other services patients may require is overseen by case managers to help ensure seamless cooperation between all professionals involved with their care and rehabilitation.
This coordinated, full-service approach to rehabilitative therapy and care leaves patients free to focus their mental and physical energy on recovery and provides them with the support they need to make the most of it: effective pain control and medical management, intensive therapies, encouragement, education and access to staff, equipment and facilities 24 hours per day, and others. The impact on recovery is certainly positive. In fact, a number of studies have shown that patients who take advantage of short term rehabilitation programs as they recover from orthopedic surgery have better short-term and long-term outcomes than those who don't, recovering more quickly and comfortably and regaining higher levels of mobility and independence.
So if your health care team has suggested that you enroll in a short-term rehabilitation program after your orthopedic surgery, taking that suggestion is your best route for a solid recovery. While spending more time in the hospital isn't something most people look forward to, over the long run you'll benefit from the experience, getting back on your feet and back to your life more quickly and comfortably than you will if you choose to spend those first weeks of recovery at home.