Physical therapy and occupational therapy are an integral part of the joint replacement procedure at Duke Orthopeadics.
Patients are assigned a physical therapist and an occupational therapist following surgery, and therapy typically starts the first day following surgery.
The first day of therapy involves a thorough evaluation of the patient and the creation of a care plan to help him or her maximize independence with functional activity.
Our evaluation process is ongoing as the patient progresses in his or her recovery. We continually re-assess the patient’s needs and make adjustments to the care plan and exercise regimen based on those changing needs.
For patients who have had a total hip replacement, inpatient physical therapy is required everyday during their hospital stay, while the frequency of occupational therapy varies depending on the patient’s needs.
Physical therapy for total hip replacement includes exercises that promote range of motion, strength, and stability.
Our therapists will emphasize functional mobility within the limitations of total hip and weight-bearing precautions and guide patients through the initial exercise program with a progression to more challenging exercises.
Occupational therapy may include demonstrations and teaching about activities for daily living, particularly in regards to training on how to use adaptive equipment for lower body bathing and dressing, transferring from a bed to a chair or bedside commode, bathing considerations, and precautions for when the patient goes home.
Before patients are discharged, we work in conjunction with the surgeons and patient resource managers to refer the patient to the appropriate level of continuing therapy, if needed. This continuing therapy may include a home exercise program or continued sessions with a licensed physical therapist.
Patients who undergo a total knee replacement also receive a thorough evaluation and therapy plan customized to their needs.
Physical therapy includes exercises that emphasize range of motion, strengthening of the new joint through a progressive exercise program, and mobility.
Occupational therapy is not always necessary after a total knee replacement, but is often used if a patient has trouble with specific activities of daily life.
Before patients are discharged, we work in conjunction with the surgeons and patient resource managers to refer the patient to the appropriate level of ongoing therapy.
For more information about the range of physical and occupational therapy services we offer, please visit the Department of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Web site.