From Diagnosis to Recovery – Rehabilitation Services Q&A

At the Bone and Joint Institute, we value having a team approach. That’s why we love having our Rehabilitation Services team in the same building as our orthopaedic providers. To learn more about recovery at Bone and Joint Institute, we decided to sit down with Ryan Meyers, DPT, and Elaine Radley, PT, to answer some common questions we’ve received from our patients.

Can you tell us more about Rehab Services and what we offer here at Bone and Joint Institute?

Meyers: Yes, we have two locations here in Franklin and at Tollgate in Thompson’s Station. We’ve been in this building in Franklin for over a year. We have an experienced staff made up of seven physical therapists, 3 physical therapist assistants, and three occupational therapists.

Similar to how physicians that are sub-specialized in different things, are there any certifications or specialties that physical therapists have?

Radley: Yes, in our department, we’ve got several different specialties or certifications. For example, I’m certified in the McKenzie treatment approach, which is a specialized form of mechanical diagnosis and therapy relating primarily to spine treatment. Many of our physical therapists are certified in dry needling, and we’ve got several therapists that are certified in ASTYM or IASTM treatments, which focuses on soft tissue mobility and adhesions. We’ve also got two certified hand therapists in our occupational therapy department. Patients know when they come to Bone and Joint Institute that our therapists are equipped with a wealth of knowledge, certifications and training.

What types of injuries do you treat here at Rehab Services?

Meyers: We see everything from head to toe, literally. From sports injuries, back and neck problems, balance issues, ankle/foot pain, to post-op knees and shoulders, we treat them all. We also see patients of all ages.

Who can be seen at Rehab Services? Is it only open to Bone and Joint Institute patients?

Radley: Honestly, we can see everybody. We get a lot of referrals in-house from the Bone and Joint physicians, but we can also see patients who are referred from other physicians and physician groups. We also see Direct Access patients, who want to go to physical therapy without a physician’s referral.

Can you explain a little bit more about how direct access works?

Meyers: Every state has some form of direct access, and Tennessee has some restrictions. Anybody can come without a prescription, but if you need therapy for longer than 30 days, we will contact your PCP to get a prescription. Most insurances cover this approach to PT.

Let’s say somebody calls and makes an appointment. What should this patient expect during the first visit? How long will it take?

Radley: You’re usually here for about an hour on your first visit, and you’ll have one-on-one time with one of our physical therapists or occupational therapists. We usually start by taking a history. This means going over the cause of the injury or the ailment, what brought you to physical therapy or to the doctor, what tests you’ve had and what other treatments you’ve already had. After that, we’ll do different types of testing just to determine what the best treatment plan and approach would be moving forward. Then, we discuss what we’ve found, what we think is going on and our treatment recommendations. Patients typically actually start the treatment during their first appointment as well, whether it’s beginning exercises or learning about posture and positioning. We’ll go over all that and then figure out the plan, including how frequently you’ll come to therapy.

As far as how often one would come to therapy, does it depend on the diagnosis? If they’re post-operation?

Meyers: Most of the time, the doctor will write on the prescription and say how much therapy they recommend, and it can be as much as three times a week. We usually try to transition people eventually to an at-home exercise program. Three times a week, to one day a week, and then you’re finishing treatment at home.

What happens in between appointments? Do you send them with exercises to do, and do they have access to you all if they have questions?

Meyers: When you do a new exercise, we’ll print off the new exercise and give you a part of your home program. You’re getting new exercises to take home pretty much every visit. During your final visit with us, we’ll go over the home exercises with you and make sure you feel comfortable with the program.

How does Bone and Joint’s team approach work between our Rehab Services staff and our doctors?

Meyers: We have developed close relationships with our physicians to where a patient can ask one of us a question, and we can go down the hall and get the answer for them. This morning, I had a patient who asked me when he can get back to playing baseball, and I knew he was pretty close to being able to. I decided to check with Dr. Arthur to make sure, and the next thing you know, he walks in the door. So, that is a very unique and special relationship we have with the doctors.

It’s summertime, and people are out and getting more active. What’s something that people can do to prevent injuries during their weekend activities?

Radley: Well, a lot of us are doing a lot of yard work and things around our house because we’ve been forced to stay at home. If you’re increasing your yardwork and home improvement projects, the biggest thing to remember is to break up the position that you’re in. If you’re pulling weeds, you’re typically sitting down, squatting or bending over, and staying in those positions for a long period of time isn’t good on your body. Break that up every so often by standing up, straightening up a little bit, walking around some, and then maybe go to a different part of the flower bed. When you’re going hiking, make sure you’ve got the proper footwear. You need good support for your feet and ankles, and we don’t want you to roll your ankle. A lot of people are playing pickup games or football with their families when they’re getting together. The best thing is to warm up beforehand, and don’t be sitting in your lawn chair and then hop up and go play. Get moving around, stretch and do a dynamic-type warmup. If you have any kind of pain or injuries, give us a call, and we’ll help you out.

To schedule an appointment with our Rehab Services team, call us at 615-791-2640. You can see our trained specialists at our locations in Franklin and Tollgate in Thompson’s Station. For more information, visit our website.