Making Decisions About Home Care

The Telehealth Approach To Rehabbing The Knee Has Arrived

by Mae Ferguson

The telegraph led to the telephone. Further advancements in technology led to the television. Now, the world has arrived at "telehealth," an innovative new concept designed to support in-home physical rehabilitation therapy. Telehealth rehabilitation programs are not commonplace yet, but the future could very well be one in which telehealth programs become a normal component of outpatient physical therapy. For former athletes whose knees are in terrible shape, this type of "distance rehab" support might deliver an outstanding assist to the recovery process. 

Knees: Pounding and Pain

Athletes do discover, as they age, the knee may end up suffering from all those years of pounding scholastic, amateur, and/or hobbyist sports playing. Consistent wear and tear on the knee joints due to years of athletic-oriented overuse can lead to osteoarthritis (OA), a form of arthritis. Physical therapy sessions become necessary for many whose chronic pain impedes their ability to move and enjoy a normal quality of life. Visits to a physical therapist, routine visits, would absolutely be beneficial. Not everyone has easy access, however, to a local physical therapist. Various factors may make routine visits difficult. At-home therapy helps circumvent infrequent appointments, but guidance during the exercises is necessary to attain progress. This is where telehealth rehab saves the day.

Research into Telehealth

Duke University is conducting an extensive research program to determine the value of telehealth for knee replacement patients. The goal here is to determine whether or not marked results or improvements are possible. Those considering options for enrolling in telehealth options should look closely at these studies since they reveal the positives and the potential drawbacks to high-tech rehab support.

Those encouraged by what they have read about telehealth physical rehab may wish to do the following:

  • Contact the Insurance Provider

The insurance provider might be able to direct interested parties towards credible at-home physical therapy programs. Would-be patients do want to sign up with a credible telehealth service and an insurance provider can help with this. Working with the provider may assist with acquiring telehealth services covered under the policy.

  • Work in Concert with the In-Patient Therapist

The in-patient rehab work and the out-patient sessions must be in harmony with one another. Exercises and programs that contradict the in-patient therapist's treatments are not exactly going to help the knees recover. Be sure the therapist agrees with the telehealth program being followed.

Get Moving

Exploring rehab work probably is best not delayed. Restoring the knee to its pre-damaged state may not be possible. Rehab work, at-home and at the therapists office, should improve things as best as possible. Contact a local therapy center, like Eastern Shore Physical Therapy or a similar location, for more information.