If you have had, or are soon to have, either knee or hip replacement surgery, the most important aspect of your recovery now becomes adequate rehabilitation of your new joint. With focused and purposeful physical therapy, you will build up strength to support your joint, restore movement of the joint, decrease the amount of pain and swelling you experience, and get back to normal as quickly as possible. Physical therapy will also help prevent postoperative complications. The great news is that 2020 has a lot to offer in the world of physical therapy. Traditionally, physical therapy that was started in the hospital continued in physical therapy centers. However, today’s technology allows you to enjoy all the benefits that come with using video telemedicine physical therapy after total joint replacement surgery.
What to Expect in Rehabilitation
Once you get home from the hospital or surgery center, you should expect to gradually increase the time and amount of effort you will devote to your rehabilitation exercises. Your doctor and physical therapist will give you specific recommendations, but you should expect to exercise about 20 to 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day. Again, while routine exercises will be prescribed, your exercise regimen will be specifically designed for you, and adjusted as your needs change.
How Telehealth Rehabilitation Works
With today’s technology, many providers are now offering a telehealth solution as part of an overall therapy plan. Using an internet or cell phone connection, your therapist can provide you with an online evaluation, followed by a demonstration of your exercises, so that you understand how to preform each one. Then, they can watch you perform them to ensure you are doing the exercises correctly. Your therapist can answer all your questions during your online visit and give you instructions for therapy you can do on your own time. To participate, all you need is internet access through a computer, tablet or smart phone. Once you have access to telehealth, you will be able to proceed with your rehabilitation from the comfort of your own home.
Benefits of Telehealth Rehabilitation
- Convenience is one of the major benefits of telehealth rehabilitation. There is no need to worry about transportation or conflicts with other appointments. To participate in your regular rehabilitation activities, you will simply log on from the comfort of your own home.
- Participation in a regular rehabilitation routine has been shown to actually increase when telehealth is used, as opposed to outpatient or homecare physical therapy. In fact, one study showed that patients using telehealth averaged almost 6 days per week of physical therapy sessions, as opposed to the 3 days per week usually experienced in outpatient or homecare settings. Regular participation, of course, leads to better recoveries.
- Communication between you and your doctor or therapist can be greatly enhanced with telehealth. This means you will likely have your concerns addressed quickly, as well as receiving valuable feedback on how well you are performing your exercises. Your orthopedic surgeon will also be able to monitor your progress closely, as they have up-to-date information on how you are doing in your rehabilitation. Enhanced communication also allows your surgeon to continue to tailor your rehabilitation to your individual needs.
- Pain Management is closely related to rehabilitation after a joint replacement. As you build up the strength of your new joint and improve its mobility, your pain and swelling will diminish. The movements in your physical therapy exercises are what move you along to a full and pain-free recovery. Research has shown that telehealth rehabilitation can improve postoperative pain as well or better than “in person” therapy.
- Complications are also minimized with adequate rehabilitation. As we have seen, people who use telehealth are more likely to participate more frequently in their physical therapy exercises. They also have a great deal of opportunity to communicate with their surgeon and their therapist. This inevitably leads to fewer complications.
- Cost is a significant benefit with telehealth rehabilitation after joint replacement. Studies have shown that rehab using this technology can be a significant cost-savings for patients.
- Information always adds benefits in healthcare. An informed patient is a healthier patient. Using a specialized telemedicine physical therapy protocol, our expert physical therapists are able to coordinate comprehensive and efficient physical therapy as you progress through the recovery phases after your joint replacement surgery, and always provide consistent and patient friendly 5 star care. You can expect frequent interaction with providers, as well as access to patient education, and can have much greater access to the information you will need to help achieve a full recovery.
If you have more questions about telehealth rehabilitation, or if you have questions or concerns regarding painful joints, arthritis, or joint replacement, Dr. Brett Gilbert and his friendly team are here to help. To seek the expert advice of Dr. Brett Gilbert , contact us today by calling us at (919) 788-8797 or request an appointment online. We can now provide you with expert orthopedic solutions for your hip or knee issues online, offering a live video telemedicine visit all from the comfort of your own home, as well as traditional in-office consultations.