Will video physical therapy work for total joint replacement patients? 5 things to know

Practice Management

The number of remote physical therapy visits for orthopedic surgery patients is increasing while visits to the physician’s office are on the decline, according to a MedCity News report.

Patients are now able to use app-based video physical therapy programs for their physical therapy. For the study, led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, researchers created 23 short videos that include on-screen text illustrating the exercises. Then patients take videos of themselves doing the exercises and therapists can compare the patient’s progress to previous videos, make comments and then upload more advanced videos, according to the report.


There were 29 patients participated in the study with 15 undergoing traditional therapy and 14 in the video therapy group. Here are five key notes from the study:


1. The video users logged on 49 times on average and posted around nine videos and five photographs. They sent 10 messages on average to the therapists.


2. Two of the video patients logged in much more — one logged in 84 times while the other logged in 121 times. These patients spent an average of around 5 minutes in the patient sessions compared to one hour per traditional patient session.


3. The patients who underwent video PT reported exercising longer than the traditional PT group.


4. Patients in both groups were highly satisfied when the study concluded, and the patients in the video group appreciated doing their therapy at home on their schedules. They did not need a driver to their PT appointments, which also factored into their satisfaction.


5. The average age for the patients was 62 years old and most were not “digital natives.”


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