With continuous nerve blocks, we are able to do everything better. Walk farther, better flexion and extension with much better pain control. Patients meet goals many times on the day of surgery and are being discharged on POD #2. It is easier on physical therapy when the patient is able to participate in therapy. I was asked to collect some averages on how well patients are reaching goals, and my first question was if they want patients with or without nerve blocks? That information will differ drastically.
Daniel Holtzclaw Physical Therapist Regional Hospital of Jackson
One of the most challenging aspects of being a Physical Therapist is working with patients that are in excruciating pain. We are often nicknamed “physical terrorists” due to the many pain induced treatments that we put our patients through so that they can eventually accomplish their functional goals and reach their highest potential. Some of the most painful treatments during a Physical Therapy session following a total joint surgery include the exercises that promote strengthening, facilitate greater range of motion and walking.
As an acute care Physical Therapist, medical interventions for pain control for my patients are an enormous part of my treatment plan and concern. When Dr. Jones began performing continuous nerve blocks on patients on the orthopedic floor, I found that my patients complained of less pain and were able to meet important functional goals much faster than with other pain interventions. A few of my patients were even able to practice walking only a couple of hours after having had their surgery! I have found that the sooner my patients begin walking and exercising, the more likely it is that they will meet their ambulation and strengthening goals before they are discharged. I have even had some of my patients discharged from the hospital early because they not only met their ambulation and exercise goals but surpassed them!
When my patients are in less pain, they are more able to participate in the treatment sessions and Physical Therapy is truly at its best. The motivation to get out of the hospital bed, gain range of motion sooner, and continue growing towards a more active lifestyle become a reality for the patient when they are in less pain. Nothing makes me happier as a Physical Therapist than to see my patients accomplish their goals and leave the hospital very confident in their abilities.
Thank you Dr. Jones for continuing to be a huge part of each patient’s success and making our profession as Physical Therapists more rewarding here at Regional Hospital!
Physical Therapist Regional Hospital of Jackson