A period of rest and recovery is essential after any injury, but hip and pelvic fractures pose unique challenges. An extended period of bed rest is needed to allow time to heal. Reduced muscle tone and weakness may ensue. It can also result in a reduction in joint mobility. Physical therapy helps mitigate the effects of bed rest. Once a patient is weight bearing, a therapist can facilitate recovery using some of the following methods:
Passive Joint Mobility – If the patient is in bed, a physical therapist will use techniques to keep the joints mobile with a safe and progressive sequence of passive exercises.
Assisted Joint Mobility – As the individual regains strength, muscle engagement is facilitated. The patient is asked to participate in the movement while being facilitated by the therapist.
Progressive Weight Bearing – The ability to stand and walk using assisted devices like crutches or walkers is an important part of the recovery process. The supervision of the physical therapist is crucial to ensure a safe recovery.
Joint and Soft Tissue Manipulation – Specialized techniques help restore movement, and therapeutic massage is used to reduce muscle tension, control pain and facilitate range of motion.
Customized Exercise Programs – Specialized routines are tailored to the individual abilities of the patient and can be performed with or without equipment. The method increases strength, maintains tone and sustains range of movement.
Training with Assistive Devices – Physical therapists provide patients with help in learning to move with crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and walkers.