PT or dedicated work at home?

I live and work in pretty rural areas.  I love living in the mountains with peace & quiet & elbow room.  But…

I started looking for a Physical Therapist covered by my insurance yesterday, thinking I would need someone soon after my follow up appt with Dr. C in 12 days.  My first thought was someplace near where I work so I could bop over during lunch and work out.  Imagin my surprise to learn that there is ONE PT in that area.  She is booked and not accepting anyone new until December.

The next choice is a great PT practice that has practitioners who work with the WVU football team.  Great facilities, full gym, pool - but nearly 90 minutes away from where I work.  I could go there after work if they hold any evening hours.  But 90 minute drive one way?  Ouch!

When I rehabbed after my ACL reconstruction 7 years ago, I went once a week for a check in, to get new exercises, then worked on them faithfully at home.  I did pretty well and recovered as well as the folks in PT 3 times a week.  I just had to be extremely self-motivated.

Is it reasonable to rehab at home, or with some periodic check ups with the PT folks 90 minutes away?  Even though I am NWB in a boot right now, I have more than 90* flexion already and I’ve been doing all the ROM exercises at home.

Has anyone else gone that route & been successful?

6 Responses to “PT or dedicated work at home?”

  1. I asked my PT whether I could reduce the number of sessions as I am running out of allowance under my medical insurance. She recommended that I maintain 2 sessions / week until she gets the swelling down. I would hope to have one a week after that but have not reached that stage yet as the swelling is still there.

    Chris

  2. The swelling is the problem, my first few visits to physio were to work on the swelling with various machines, not something that can be done at home. Since the swelling went down I have done almost all my physio at home, plus lots of walking.

    I think you should go a few times to Physio then do a home work programme.

    Annie

  3. Annie,

    What sort of machines did they use to reduce swelling? I’d have to go at the end of a long work day, so I know that I’ll be swollen by then!

    Linda

  4. Hi Linda,

    An ultrasound machine, a laser machine, and one which I cannot remember but I had to go into the room on my own and the door had a warning sign on it, so presumably some sort of x-ray type, but they all helped, particularly the laser machine.

    Annie

  5. My doctor said no rehab til almost 4+ months. I had my surgery May 1 and only started rehab in September.
    In fact, my doc thought just walking and using the foot as I recovered was rehab enough.

    I learned about what kind of exercises add flexibility and which strengthen my calf muscle. If I were you, I would go once or twice, and ask them to spell out the exercises you should do. Then maybe go back later….after 10 or 12 weeks? Sure, they have some special stuff there, but I think you can get 80% of the value at home doing exercises on your own.

  6. 90 minutes one way is just too far to go. That’s such a bummer.

    If that’s your only option that you’ve got left, I would book a consultation with them and see what they’ve got in mind for your rehab.

    When I did my knee, I ended up going three times per week for PT, but most of the exercise that I used for rehab didn’t involve a machine. When I had an exercise that required a machine, it was a piece of equipment that I had at my local YMCA.

    I’m sure if you explain your circumstances to the therapist, they will find a way to make the program work with you only visiting once per week?

    The only thing you’ll be missing out on is the ultra sound type massager that they use to combat the swelling.

    Good luck!

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