Something you may have realized by now is that you rarely get a patient with just and orthopaedic condition. Frequently, patients have multiple co-morbidities that affect how you can implement your interventions. Or maybe you get a referral for something like "balance/gait training." We have received referrals for "cervical strain," but the primary concern is the patient's balance deficits. These are just neurological examples. Consider a patient with deficits in the hand or B&B involvement. These conditions are perfect for consulting a hand therapist or pelvic floor therapist respectively. Sometimes it is essential that a patient receives multiple forms of therapy. A patient's underlying pelvic floor dysfunction may be related to the neurological symptoms in the lower extremity! In a setting like we have with hand therapists, neuro PTs, ortho PTs, pelvic floor PT, and speech therapists, we are able to consult regularly with any aspect of our case. On the flip side, you often get consulted by them for orthopaedic concerns! We have been asked to quickly examine patients of the neuro PTs, occupational therapists, and pelvic floor PTs multiple times. Often following this examination, patients may require a script for orthopaedic physical therapy or potentially they just need a quick manual therapy treatment for the problem. Either way, you can see how beneficial it is being in a multi-disciplinary setting like this. You have the ability to consult with other practitioners that could be key components to your care, along with being consultants for potential underlying orthopaedic issues!
-Chris and Jim