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UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica

Physical and Occupational Therapy

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Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Following your Orthopaedic Surgery

Your Physical Therapy will begin on your first post-operative day in the morning. At that time a Physical Therapist or PT will come to your room and assess your strength, range of motion, sensation and pain level. The PT will also educate you about any spine, knee or hip precautions you may have and instruct you in your exercise program.  If you are medically ready, many of our patients are assisted to the edge of the bed and some even take a few steps with the assist of a walker or crutches on that first morning.

If you have had spine surgery, you will be instructed how to log roll and how/when to use your brace or corset (if applicable.)  If you have had hip replacement surgery, you may be placed in traction called Kodel slings or have a foam abduction pillow placed between your legs.  If you have had knee replacement surgery, you will spend part of the 24 hour day in a continuous passive motion device (CPM) and part of the 24 hour day on an ankle roll to work on your knee flexion and extension.

The Physical Therapist or a Physical Therapy Assistant will see you as directed by your physician until you are discharged from the hospital or until you have met all your mobility goals. Your Physical Therapist works closely with you and the entire team to determine if you are ready to go straight home from the hospital or if you need inpatient rehabilitation prior to returning home.

Most individuals need to obtain the following Physical Therapy goals prior to returning home: be able to independently get in and out of bed, on/off a chair and be able to independently walk on level surfaces and stairs (as needed) with an assistive device while maintaining any precautions.

The goals of Occupational Therapy are for you to be as independent as possible and safe with your activities of daily living while maintaining any precautions prior to your return home.