#1 Just because you have an abnormal x-ray or MRI does not mean you need to see a surgeon.
#2 Because of the risks and potential consequences associated with any form of surgery – surgery is always the last option and only undertaken if all non-surgical treatment options have been exhausted or ruled out.
#3 Published research at the University of British Columbia (2013) found that experienced orthopaedic physiotherapists were four times better than family physicians and emergency room physicians at identifying patients who needed surgery (PTs 91% MDs 22%). See an experienced orthopaedic physiotherapist for a safe and appropriate non-surgical treatment plan.
#4 Educate yourself on your injury / condition to learn about non-surgical and surgical treatment options. Click here to visit our Patient Education Video library to learn more.
#5 Exercise is the single most effective non-surgical treatment method to improve joint mobility, muscular strength and functional independence at any age.
Non-Surgical Treatment Protocols
Because of the risks and potential consequences with any surgery – the first treatment option is always non-surgical.
A non-surgical treatment protocol is designed to help patients restore their functional capacity without the risks of surgery.
Working with an experienced orthopaedic physiotherapist can help guide you through each stage and progress you to the next stage as you heal and improve.
Stage 1: The Starting Line
Stage one is seeing a physician and getting an accurate and early diagnosis – specifically to rule out a serious condition that may require urgent medical care (fractures, infections, tumors, pediatric injuries).
Stage 2: Early Healing
Stage two consists of a period of protection at the site of injury (reduced motion or load at the site of injury to prevent further tissue damage and allow early repair tissue to establish itself)
Stage 3: Early – Middle Healing
Stage three consists of a period of modified activities of daily living and gentle exercises (to prevent re-injury and allow repair tissue to mature further)
Stage 4: Middle – Late Healing
Stage four consists of a period of safe, appropriate and progressive rehab exercises (to restore full range of motion, muscular strength, endurance and function)
Stage 5: The Finish Line
Stage five consists of seeing your physician and physiotherapist to obtain medical clearance to return to work duties and / or sports
- See a physician. Do I need an x-ray?
- See an experienced orthopaedic physiotherapist for a progressive non-surgical protocol.
- Get off pain and anti-inflammatory medications as soon as possible. Masking pain can result in delayed healing and dependency.
- Stop smoking. It delays tissue healing.
- To avoid re-injury, always follow up with your physiotherapist before progressing to the next stage in your protocol.
- Don’t return to work or sports without your physician and physiotherapist’s permission.
- Click here to learn about your injury, condition and treatment options.
Terry Kane, Registered Physiotherapist
Founder | Owner, OrthopaedicsCanada.com