The Case for



Orthopaedic Triage and Care in Canada

Physiotherapists in Canada are recognized in provincial legislation and by provincial health authorities,  as primary care contacts in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of acute and chronic musculoskeletal / orthopaedic conditions (among other medical conditions).

Research conducted by the University of British Columbia identified that:

      • Experienced orthopaedic physiotherapists were four times better at identifying patients requiring orthopaedic surgery than family physicians and emergency room physicians (physiotherapists = 90% vs family physicians / emergency room physicians = 22%).

      • That a Physiotherapy Model of Orthopaedic Triage could reduce surgical wait lists by 75%.


Problem #1

Over 95% of all physiotherapists in Canada are located in 8% of Canada’s total land mass.

      • This means that there are thousands of Canadians without access to a local physiotherapist.

      • This means there are post-surgical patients discharged home without easy access to a local physiotherapist.  Without easy access,  this  reduces follow up opportunities and increases the  risk of delayed or inadequate rehab (i.e.  failure to restore range of motion leading to permanent joint stiffness).

      • Without access, many of these rural Canadians are receiving a lower standard of orthopaedic triage and orthopaedic care than Canadians living in large urban centres.


Problem # 2

There are consequences for patients who receive delayed, inadequate or inappropriate treatment for an orthopaedic injury including;

      • Greater probability of developing dependency on pain medications (i.e. opioid medications).

      • Greater probability of developing chronic pain and permanent disability (i.e physical and mental health).

      • Greater demand on family physicians and provincial health care systems over the patient’s lifetime. (i.e chronic pain management).

      • Greater demand on family members and social services for supportive care over the patient’s lifetime.

      • Increased risk of poorer post-surgical outcomes from orthopaedic surgery requiring corrective treatments and/or resulting further disabilty.

The Solution:

Canada requires a telehealth program to triage and help rural Canadians with acute musculoskeletal and orthopaedic conditions as soon as possible.

To reduce the risk of delayed or inadequate post-surgical rehabilitation, Orthopaedic surgeons require a system to provide rural Canadians with access to an online physiotherapist who can identify patient’s at risk and monitor their rehab.

The most qualified and recognized profession to execute this program are experienced orthopaedic physiotherapists.


TeleOrthopaedic Appointment Information



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