Orthopaedic Care in Canada
The majority of Canadians with musculoskeletal injuries and pain get better without the need for prescription medications, passive treatments, advanced imaging, (MRIs), invasive procedures (injections), surgical consults or orthopaedic surgery.
For Canadians requiring medical help, physiotherapists are recognized in provincial legislation and by provincial health authorities, as primary care contacts in the diagnosis, non-surgical management and rehabilitation of acute, chronic and post-surgical musculoskeletal / orthopaedic conditions.
Research conducted by the University of British Columbia Department of Orthopaedics (2013) identified that:
- Experienced orthopaedic physiotherapists were four times better at identifying patients requiring orthopaedic surgery than family physicians and emergency room physicians (physiotherapists = 91% vs family physicians / emergency room physicians = 22%).
- A Physiotherapy Model of Orthopaedic Triage could reduce surgical wait lists by 75%.
Unfortunately 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 post-op 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 and disability).
- Without easy access to a physiotherapist or surgeon, many of these rural Canadians are receiving a lower standard of orthopaedic triage and orthopaedic care than Canadians living in large urban centres.
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: TeleOrthopaedics.com
Teleorthopaedics.com is a telephone / video service that connects Canadians with experienced orthopaedic physiotherapists who can answer questions and provide direction to ensure patients are on the right clinical pathway to achieve the best possible outcome.
If you are interested in learning more about teleorthopaedics.com, please contact Terry Kane by completing the contact form below or visiting www.terrykane.ca