Orthopedics Today Hawaii

Orthopedics Today Hawaii

January 21, 2014
1 min read

Patients must fully understand rehabilitation prior to their surgery

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WAILEA, Hawaii — Communication and teamwork between orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and occupational therapists are essential to maximize clinical outcomes after shoulder surgery.


Evan L. Flatow

“It is important to remember that the physical therapist and occupational therapist will have a role. The question is will it be a good role in concert with your role,” Evan L. Flatow, MD, said here at Orthopedics Today Hawaii 2014.

Patients must fully understand the postoperative regimen before surgery, he said, and orthopedic surgeons have to discuss a patient’s rehabilitation at every visit. He advised that surgeons not only supervise the rehabilitation, but also compliment and criticize the progress.

“If a patient gets a good result, then tell them they had a good therapist,” Flatow, who is an Orthopedics Today Editorial Board member, said.

Surgeons should provide clear, individualized prescriptions. He said it is important to note that if a surgeon chooses a slower course of rehabilitation, that the surgeon makes sure the physical therapists are in agreement and follow the plan and do not tell the patient that the surgeon is “old-fashioned.”

“Most importantly, make sure patients understand the issues going on with their rehabilitation and make sure they understand what they have to do,” Flatow said. ─ by Kristine Houck, MA, ELS


Flatow EL. How to maximize patient outcomes in shoulder surgery: The role of the physical therapist. Presented at: Orthopedics Today Hawaii 2014, Jan. 19-23, 2014; Wailea, Hawaii.

Disclosure: Flatow receives royalties from Innomed and Zimmer.