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Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Overview
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Our interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts specializes in meeting the needs of patients with orthopedic injuries and impairments. A Baylor physiatrist (a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation) leads the treatment team. Through frequent contact with the patient, team members and patient's surgeon, the physiatrist can better manage the special medical needs of the patient and closely monitor his rehabilitative progress.
Your specific needs determine the composition of your rehabilitation team. Each team has a care coordinator who serves as the treatment organizer and assists with insurance issues, and a social worker who assists with any discharge needs.
Multiple fractures and/or crush injuries are often very complex. The type of fracture that requires surgical intervention is often involved, recovery is slow and the rehabilitation process may be complicated from various other factors. While working with the surgeon's guidelines and restrictions, the rehabilitation team can provide a program which can help you function as independently as possible while your injury is healing.
You may have both external immobilization (splints, casts or external fixators) and internal immobilization (metal screws, nails or plates) on differing fractures. You may also have external injuries (burns, scrapes or wounds) and/or internal injuries (ruptured bladder, nerve damage, collapsed lung, etc.) which require careful medical monitoring and treatment. Therefore, weight bearing status, type of immobilization, age of the patient, location of fractures and recovery from other injuries all play an important role in determining the level and frequency of care needed.
Rehabilitation may focus on teaching independence at a wheelchair level while you are immobilized. Aquatic therapy is often utilized to increase mobility if you are non-weight bearing on land, but are able to apply weight for walking in the water. You will also be educated on techniques and exercises to use after the cast/ screws are removed to help you regain range of motion, strength and mobility. After inpatient rehabilitation, you may return to outpatient rehabilitation for further treatment when appropriate.
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