Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation

The musculoskeletal system in the human body assists in providing proper form and support. It contributes to the stability of the body and forms a critical part of movements. This system comprises several parts, including muscle tissue, cartilage, tendons, joints, and ligaments. The skeleton itself, along with additional connective tissues, also form part of the musculoskeletal system.

Table of Contents

Due to the roles of the musculoskeletal system, injury, or disorders that affect any part of it can lead to long-term complications. In certain cases, disability may be experienced. Various musculoskeletal conditions have been identified in recent years, with some being more serious and disabling than others.

According to recent studies, up to 33% of the global population has a musculoskeletal condition that causes consistent pain symptoms1. Treatment for injuries and conditions affecting the system sometimes involve surgical procedures. Following surgery, a period of rehabilitation is highly recommended to help speed up recovery and reduce the risk of complications.

Current Impact Of Musculoskeletal Conditions And Injuries

Pain is a common problem faced by a majority of the population today. Numerous conditions contribute to the development of pain symptoms in patients. The World Health Organization reports that musculoskeletal conditions and injuries are the major contributes to pain in the world among non-cancer patients.

Pain caused by musculoskeletal conditions can be persistent. The pain may be severe enough to interfere with a patient’s ability to perform daily chores and tasks. Several links have been made to musculoskeletal conditions as well, often as a result of the complications caused by these scenarios.

The risk of depression is often noted among patients who experience chronic pain due to a musculoskeletal injury or condition. Reduced activity of the individual can lead to additional adverse effects, including a higher risk of accompanying chronic diseases. Among office workers, consistent fatigue, and a reduction in productivity may be noted in those experiencing musculoskeletal pain.

Furthermore, studies also show that musculoskeletal problems are among the leading causes of disability throughout the worldwide population. These problems are also ranked as the fourth major cause behind reduced well-being.

Several potential causes are linked to pain symptoms associated with muscles, cartilage, joints, and connective tissues in the body. Certain conditions may have damaging effects on the skeleton and muscles. An impact due to sports, an accident, or other events may lead to an acute injury – which could hold long-term complications for the patient.

Below, we outline some of the common musculoskeletal cases that may require the services of therapists and other healthcare providers as part of a rehabilitation program.

Traumatic Fractures

Fractures are exceptionally common in the general population. Any area of the body with skeletal tissue, including bones and joints, as well as cartilage, can experience a fracture. These events are generally divided into different categories, or “types”4. Some are more serious than others.

When a patient experiences a mild fracture, minimal treatment is generally advised. The patient will usually be able to recover at home using pain killers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and a combination of hot and cold therapies.

Traumatic fractures are often more serious and can cause extreme levels of pain. A force is generally applied to an area of the body, which results in a fracture. Various musculoskeletal tissues can suffer a fracture. Motor vehicle accidents are common causes of fractures. A hard fall to the ground, especially from a second story, for example, also puts a patient at risk of a serious traumatic fracture.

Some patients may have a higher risk of traumatic fractures. A patient with osteoporosis may experience a decrease in bone density. This leads to weaker bone tissue, which makes it easier for bones to fracture upon impact. Such an event is often referred to as a pathologic fracture, although it can be caused by force as well.

A report by Cleveland Clinic explains that more than one million bone fractures are reported in the United States each year.

The appropriate treatment for a bone fracture depends on factors such as the location of the injury, as well as the severity.

Common regions of the body affected by fractures include:

  • Arms
  • Hands
  • Wrists
  • Elbows
  • Legs
  • Knees
  • Ankles
  • Feet
  • Fingers

Signs of a fracture may include:

  • Limited mobility
  • Bending at an abnormal angle
  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • May appear deformed
  • Bruising
  • Warmth
  • Tenderness
  • Discoloration

A series of tests are needed to help a care provider understand the severity of the patient’s fracture. X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, and a bone scan may be ordered. A CT or CAT scan can be helpful, as well.

Treatment will often include the use of a splint or a cast. The idea is to push the fractured bone back into place. Pain medication may be provided.

Surgical procedures are sometimes required to assist in the treatment of a fracture. This is the case with severe fractures.

Spinal Surgery

The spinal cord carries nerves from the brain and helps them connect to the rest of the body. These nerves carry important signals to all body parts, allowing the patient to move around and be mobile. A spinal cord injury can cause disability, extreme pain, and several other complications. In some cases, permanent disability is suffered following an injury to the spinal cord.

According to one study, an average of 17,730 cases of spinal cord injury is reported in the United States every year. In 78% of these cases, the patients are male. It is also estimated that up to 363,000 individuals in the United States currently live with complications caused by a spinal cord injury.

In some cases, spinal surgery is needed as part of a treatment system. Surgery may be required in cases of spinal injury. Some conditions, such as osteoporosis, may also lead to complications that require surgery.

Different types of spinal surgical procedures can be performed. The specific surgery depends on the reason for the procedure, the condition or injury, and the severity. Spinal surgical procedures are sometimes simply referred to as back surgery.

Common types of spinal surgeries that are conducted on patients with injuries and conditions that affect the spine include:

  • Spinal fusion
  • Laminectomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Discectomy
  • Disk replacement
  • Interlaminar implant

Each surgical procedure comes with its own set of benefits, risks, and potential drawbacks. Patients will often need to undergo a rehabilitation program following surgery at the spine. 

Long-term rehabilitation is sometimes needed to assist in the recovery process. Specific therapies and strategies included in the rehabilitation program may consist of physical therapy, occupational therapy, stretch exercises, and medicated treatment.

Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy serves as an important diagnostic tool in patients with problems that affect their joints. The procedure is relatively simple to perform and requires only a small incision to be made. A fiber-optic camera is used as part of an arthroscopy procedure. This camera allows the healthcare provider to see the inside of the body without having to create invasive incisions. A high definition monitor is used to help the healthcare provider get an accurate view of the joint.

The fiber-optic camera is small in size. It is connected to a tube. The tube is extremely narrow, ensuring the procedure is as minimally invasive as possible. Once an incision is made, this tube is pushed into the skin. The doctor then uses the camera to navigate toward the joint.
A diagnosis can often be made by using the data collected during the arthroscopy procedure. Once diagnosed, the same procedure is sometimes used to assist in the treatment of joint problems.

Rehabilitation and care may be required following the procedure. This ensures the wound does not become infected, and appropriate exercises are performed once the joints start to heal – which is essential following a treatment procedure.

A rehabilitation program following joint surgery may also include a range of exercises. These activities are introduced to the patient, to strengthen the tendons and muscle tissue surrounding the affected joint. The use of such a strategy helps to reduce the risk of the same injury in the future. It also adds better joint stability and may assist in restoring mobility.

Limb Reconstruction

Limb reconstruction is a procedure that assists in rectifying problems with the length, as well as the shape of a limb. The primary purpose of limb reconstruction often does not lie in its ability to produce improved aesthetics. Instead, limb reconstruction is considered in patients where the alteration in their limb’s size or shape leads to impaired functioning.

Various techniques can be used to assist in the procedure. Bone realignment, joint stabilization, and position correction are only three examples of the limb reconstruction methods used.

A surgeon first needs to analyze and identify a deformity or problem with the affected limb. The surgeon will be able to determine if correction is possible, based on the findings of the deformities identified.

When limb reconstruction has been performed, patients should expect a period of recovery. Throughout recovery, the patient is often advised to partake in a rehabilitation program. These programs provide assistance to the patient, caring for them while they are making a recovery. Physical therapy is a common treatment that is part of rehabilitation. Specialized care may be provided as well in cases where the limb reconstruction was more invasive.

Long-Term Rehabilitation for Musculoskeletal Conditions

Surgical procedures that revolve around musculoskeletal conditions and injuries require care afterward. The patient is often advised that recovery takes some time. Gradual increases in physical activity tend to help the patient recover faster, but this can be difficult in scenarios where the condition has caused disability.

Patients who are recovering from musculoskeletal surgery and those who have suffered an injury are advised to consider the utilization of long-term rehabilitation facilities. In-patient care can be provided to patients to assist with post-surgery recovery.

Rehabilitation comprises a customized program that cares for the specific needs of the patient. During an in-patient rehabilitation period, the patient will be provided with 24/7 supervision by trained and qualified medical staff.

Healthcare providers are also able to offer more specialized care to patients who are in a rehabilitation center. The care provider will provide follow up appointments with the patient – often at the facility. This reduces the need for constant traveling, which can harm the patient’s recovery.
Several types of healthcare professionals may form part of a rehabilitation program. The patient is carefully assessed before a treatment plan is compiled. Therapists may provide the patient with physical and occupational therapy services. This helps the patient regain mobility after surgery or while they are recovering from an injury.

The patient may also be provided access to professionals who can develop a personal training program for the individual. These programs consist of exercises that help to enhance the mobility of the affected area. Additionally, the exercises will also help to strengthen muscle and connective tissue in the area where surgery was performed.

Throughout the recovery and rehabilitation phase, healthcare professionals may also provide the patient with medication to assist in reducing symptoms experienced. Anti-inflammatory drugs are often provided to help reduce inflammation. Pain medication may be used to assist in reducing pain symptoms the patient experience.

Why Cambridge?

Cambridge Medical & Rehabilitation Center is the leading provider for Long-term Care and rehabilitation services in the United Arab Emirates. With 2 main facilities in Abu Dhabi & Al Ain, which are designed in a rehabilitation and long-term care hospital with a capacity of 90 beds each.

Cambridge provides an interdisciplinary clinical approach for Muscoskeletal Rehabilitation which is customized for adults, adolescents, and children. The best rehabilitation services are not only our goal but our ultimate objective is to customize the care plan for each patient and make sure that the patient’s family and their members are integrated into the treatment plan.

Either you joined Abu Dhabi hospital or Al Ain hospital for any kind of our rehabilitation services or even for long-term care you will feel as if you are at #Your Second Home.