Physiotherapists can reduce the need for surgery for patients with diabetes, stroke and joint replacement

Fascinating research from Australia (wow I am so jealous of the physiotherapy there!) looking at how physiotherapy, in conjunction with other health practitioners can reduce the need for surgery and dramatically speed up recovery time for patients with diabetes, osteoarthritis and stroke.

They found that:

  • Diabetes was reduced by 37%
  • Physiotherapy BEFORE joint replacement surgery removed 15% of the waiting list. In one hospital they removed so many the waiting list fell from 18 months to 3!!!!
  • Stroke patients working with physiotherapists recovered quicker, were more independent and had better speech.

Lets just look at those numbers again.

There were 37% less diabetics. That’s nearly 4 out of every 10 diabetics (Type 2) who no longer have diabetes. Isn’t that phenomenal? Now there were dieticians in that team as well but . . . . 4 in 10!

Now, let’s look at the really exciting one (for me!). Physiotherapy BEFORE joint replacement surgery. The way I was trained in the RAF, nearly 30 years ago, recommended physiotherapy before surgery. The opinion was to get the patient in the best shape possible before surgery so that, after the stress of surgery, they came out in even better shape.

And now . . . . . the addition of physiotherapy before surgery made a HUGE difference. 15% of the waiting list .. gone. 15 months of waiting list . . . . gone. All those people who didn’t need surgery.

Have a read, have a think. (apologies the link seems a bit temperamental)


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