SBS TV Insight Tuesday 15 May 2018

Joint operation

“How do you know when surgery is the best option and who makes the call?”

By Alan client of Total Balance Physiotherapy & Pilates Black Rock

Having watched this excellent program and been the recipient of several arthroscopies, two knee replacements and a Hip replacement over the past 10 years or so, chronic pain management is not  a “one size fits all “solution.

The rate at which medical innovation and other forms of supportive treatments has progressed in the last 25 years has been astonishing. This has meant most of us that have or will require surgery or other forms of chronic pain treatment are then able to lead mostly productive and normal lives.

We are now supported by a range of highly skilled health professionals without whom a lot of us would probably confined to wheel chairs or worse. My replacement operations have all been successful and the relief from severe pain post operation is a feeling only those who have put up with chronic pain for long periods will understand. Of course to gain the benefits of the surgery it is critical to be diligent with the Rehabilitation.

Generally most people will go firstly to their GP who will order x-rays and scans and then refer to a surgeon. The surgeon has one or maybe two options to offer and this includes a post operative rehab program that gets you up and about. The question which was asked (above) and in my view not adequately answered is where I believe the issue rests.

In my experience there is a lack of coordination and cooperation between the group of health professionals in trying to find the right solution or combination of solutions for YOUR problem! Leaving aside alternative medical options the key to making an informed decision about what’s right for you starts with the Physiotherapist.

This is where an accurate assessment will be made: The Physio will assess and treat you, none invasively, they will suggest you go to your GP for medication, X-rays scans etc. Then it might be appropriate to be assessed by a surgeon who will offer you his /her surgical solution

If surgery is the best solution for you then the role of the physio becomes even more important pre operation to ensure you’re in best condition for recovery. In my experience post operative rehab is limited to getting you out of hospital and your operated joint mobile.

If you want the best result from your surgery the ongoing role of physiotherapy is crucial as there are a significant amount of muscles, ligaments tissues and tendons affected by the surgery and they need to re-establish both strength and functionality