When To Get Imaging For an Injury?

Maryland is a direct access state for physical therapy. This means that you do not have to see a physician before receiving physical therapy unless your health insurance requires it. As physical therapists, we are trained to be able to determine whether your presentation requires you to also consult with a physician. One of the reasons a physical therapist might refer you to a physician is for you to receive imaging. A physical therapist would suggest this if we feel your injury might have resulted in some type of fracture or tear to a ligament, tendon, or muscle. The only way to determine if this actually happened is through imaging. Your physician will then let you know the results of the imaging and their recommendation for a further plan of care.

Even if you did sustain a fracture or tear, that does not mean surgery is the only option. Depending on the severity of the injury, your physician will recommend your options and many times it is continued physical therapy without a surgical intervention. As physical therapists, we have vast experience with working with patient with positive imaging outcomes that have successful results with only physical therapy. Therefore, it is important to listen to all your health care providers to determine the right course for your treatment.

Knee Replacement Surgery

A knee replacement is a common surgery for people who suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or from a traumatic knee injury. There are three types of knee replacement surgeries; total knee replacement, partial knee replacement, and knee resurfacing. Listed below are the differences between the three.

A total knee replacement surgery replaces part of your femur (thigh bone), knee cap, and tibia (shin bone) with metal implants. The damaged cartilage and bone is replaced with metal components that are cemented or “press-fit” into the bone to recreate the surface of the joint. Plastic spacers are inserted between the components to provide a smooth gliding surface.

A partial knee replacement, also known as a unicompartmental knee replacement, is a more conservative option. The surgeon will treat one or two of the compartments of the knee removing most of the damaged areas of cartilage from the joint and leave the healthy parts for continued use. Generally there is a smaller incision and a faster recovery time.

Knee resurfacing replaces only the damaged surface areas of the joint. This generally results in fewer anesthesias and a shortened surgery time. The damaged bone is removed and the surgeon fits the implant to that bone.