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Offline Coppertop

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Physical Therapy Question
« on: September 12, 2005, 05:53:59 PM »
This has been my first time with physical therapy and am wondering if my experience is normal .... I'm basically ignored for almost the entire hour I'm at physical therapy:  I come in, ride the stationary bike, do the eliptical machine, do stretches, i.e., lunges, knee bends, etc. and the entire time my therapist is busy talking with the other therapists or the other therapists' patients -- doesn't even come up to see how I'm doing, or what I'm doing.  I basically have to get right in his face and ask him what he wants me to do next .... then reluctantly he will work on my range of motion/extension, i.e., where he presses down on my leg to get it to fully straighten out.  Then sends me back to do more stretches on my own.  Last Friday, I was fed up and told him I felt I was being ignored.  Boy was that the wrong thing to say ... I really got the attitude from him (i.e., "next time bring some cheese for your whine").   I feel since I'm paying this place $140 for each session I should get more one-on-one assistance.  Am I incorrect?? Iis this how physical therapy works, i.e., you learn the exercises and you work on them independently?? Thank you!

Offline stgiles16

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Re: Physical Therapy Question
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2005, 06:42:53 PM »
Unfortunately, alot of pts are like that. If he said that comment about the cheese, I would definately report him to his boss. that is unprofessional and rude. If I were you, I would look for another pt firm. I have had pts just like you described and it always made me so mad. I would ask tons of questions just to make them mad and interupt their convesations lol.
goodluck
missy
2 ligament recons right ankle
2 arthroscopic,
5 open knee procedures
2 Plica removals
bone spur removal
2 microfractures
4 debridements
2 open LOAs all on left knee
Arthritis,both knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, hands,spine
Fibromyalgia
Arthrofibrosis
LOA & PKR 2/15/06
RA
in pain mgmt
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Offline SWYZ721

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Re: Physical Therapy Question
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2005, 08:39:55 PM »
I've only been to 2 sessions and all they've done for me is electric stim and ice both times, however I just tore the ACL/MCL 12 days ago and they said my muscle is "as weak as a kitten"
Aug. 29, 2005 - ACL/MCL/Meniscusl Rupture
Oct. 27, 2005 - ACL Recon. (Patellar)

Don't play indoor soccer!

Offline Patty0513

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Re: Physical Therapy Question
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2005, 09:03:54 PM »
I agree with Missy, find another PT place.  I have always been lucky and have had good PTs.  You are right, you are paying them a lot of money to help you and I think you should be getting more hands on help.  Even if they aren't right there all the time, they should be keeping an eye on you to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly etc.  You should never have to interrupt them to find out what to do next!!

Good luck,
Patty

Offline casey2291

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Re: Physical Therapy Question
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2005, 01:20:02 AM »
Hey,

I have run into a few PT's just like you are describing.  When I first started PT, my sessions were just like what you described and I was bounced around from PT to PT with whoever happened to be available that day.  Fortunately, after working with every PT in the place, I found that the clinical director was the only one who actually treated me like a real person and was actually doing therapy with me.  There was one day that I went to therapy and my therapist that day was so bad.  I was left on the bike for 30 minutes (should have been on there for 10 minutes) and b/c I was told by the receptionist to go get started on the bike, I didn't even know who my therapist was.  So I wasted 30 minutes of my 45 min. session on the bike.  And then the therapist (who was just standing around talking to other therapists the whole time I was on the bike) came up and wanted to know how long I had been on the bike and if I wanted to bike that long.  I couldn't believe it!!  I guess I was running the therapy session that day, not her.  Even when she did approach me, she never introduced herself or told me her name or anything.  I was really mad that day  b/c I had gotten up to be at therapy at 7:00 that morning to do something that I could have done at home.    Fortunately, all of my bad experiences were before my surgery.  I felt like you did that they were not really trying to help me (except for when I got to work with the clinic director).  So, after I had my surgery, I made sure that all of my appointments were with the clinic director (the PT that I liked) and I refused to work with anyone else.  I think it annoyed some of the other PT's, but I figured that it was my knee and my time and that I wasn't going  to screw it up while they stood around and talked..  I agree with the others, either find a new place or scout out the other PT's who are at the clinic to see who you think is good and myabe try a session with that person.  You deserve to be treated and not left to just work independently, otherwise it is a waste of your time.   My PT always monitored what I was doing and my pain levels throughout the session.  There were only a few sessions where I really felt as if I was ignored and I could tell he was very busy that day and those sessions occured close to the time of my discharge at 3 1/2 months.  At that point in time, I felt comfortable with him off doing other things.  But, initially, for about the first six weeks of therapy,  he pretty much stayed right by my side and monitored me very closely.  I was typically his only scheduled patient during that time.  After six weeks, he then allowed me to be more independent and would occasionally also schedule another patient during the last 15 minutes of my sessions (when I was icing), but still checked in with me throughout the sessions.  Good luck finding a PT that works for you!

Casey
LOA #2 and hardware removal 12/15/08-new cartilage from ACI looks "GOOD"
LOA on left knee 3/18/07
ACI and HTO on left knee 10/22/07
scope of right knee on 6/21/07
microfracture left knee 3/18/05

Offline clhimes

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Re: Physical Therapy Question
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2005, 02:17:45 AM »
My experience with PT has been great. The first few times I went, after my injury, I was treated one on one in a treatment room. We went over my injury and he measured what I could do in terms of ROM, strength, etc. He gave me exercises to do at home and had me do them for him a few times to be sure I knew what to do.  The next few visits were the same with gradually adding some additional exercises.  When I was ready I started in the gym and for the first few visits he was basically at my side showing me how to use each machine and checking my form.  As I got more "experienced" he left me alone more in the gym, but always checked in to see how I was doing and spent some time with me at the end of the session while I got stim and ice.  It has been a wonderful experience and I would definitely shop around to find some one who gives you the attention you want.  I found him to be a great source of information on the injury and recovery, both from his professional experience, but he also had an ACL tear himself.  He was great at motivating me to go a little further each time and to build up my strength.  He told me early on that he likes to let people push themselves, but if they aren't, he will. 
This is my only experience with PT, but it has definitely been a positive one!
Chris
48 y/o professor
Feb 13. 2005  skiing injury
Mar 2005 MRI shows ACL rupture, Grade III MCL and Grade II LCL sprains
ACL recon (hamstring) July 28, 2005

Offline purplestars1881

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Re: Physical Therapy Question
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2005, 02:19:28 AM »
I agree with everyone else, you should find a new PT. PT is SO IMPORTANT, you really need to feel comfortable with where you are going and trust them. When I was first looking for a PT, I cancelled an appointment that I had scheduled because I didn't know the place and the receptionist was incredibly rude on the phone and I just didn't feel comfortable. I ended up going someplace completely different.

My PT's are fabulous. They do talk and have other patients, but they are always right there, interacting with all the patients in the gym, and are always there if you need anything. I never feel like I can't interupt them. If you don't feel that you can do this, then I would absolutely find someplace else.

Heather
Lateral Release & Torn Meniscus...August 2005

Offline ralemap

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Re: Physical Therapy Question
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2005, 03:56:34 PM »
Oh, man! You certainly are having a bad experience. I haven't had a LOT of experience with PT, but I've been going for the last 3 weeks after my surgery (lateral release). I have had the same PT (only because I go at 7:00 am, she's the only one there at that time) but she spends the WHOLE time with me. I'm never by myself... even when I'm riding the bike, she sits on the window sill next to me and we chat. It's not like we were friends before this (or even that we're friends now :) ) but I guess this isn't the normal way of things? I'd definitely talk to the director of the clinic, and then I'd get a new place to go. I'm so sorry this has happened to you! Good luck!

Offline maria1985

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Re: Physical Therapy Question
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2005, 12:30:46 PM »
i feel for u i've been in the same situation.after my second op i was told by my pt that i had to do knee plunges, now bearing in mind that i was wearing a brace for 6 months i had no strengh in my right knee i physically could not do that exercise try explaining that to them and they talk to you as if you just cant be bothered with the exercise. i was crying in that session and was vomiting by the time i got home. eventually i stopped going to them as they insisted i lift 5 pounds of weight on my bad leg repeating it a number of times, which was a huge struggle in the end i thought that my pt was causing more harm than good and decided not to go anymore carried on with the exercise that i could do on my.
i hated the fact that they ignore you when you try to talk to them or when they go of to have conversations with other people. i use to feel so uncomfortable going there as i was always on edge.
my advice would be to go and see a different pt, at the end of the day its your health that matters.
GOOD LUCK

Maria
chronic knee pain since 10 years old.
lateral release in 2000
goldwaithes in 2002
2 weeks intensive physio in 2005
nowhere near to finding the course of the problem.

Offline blackbeltgirl

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Re: Physical Therapy Question
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2005, 01:28:03 PM »
I've also had both good and bad experiences.  In the end, I dismissed my PT this time, instead of them dismissing me.  A) I wasn't doing anything there that I wasn't doing at home on off days.  B) They were charging me insane amounts of money, and the only staff I saw regularaly were assistants, with minimal training.  C) I later found out that they had me doing exercises I WASN"T SUPPOSED TO DO AT ALL!!!

When I've had good PTs, I was met by the certified therapist each time.  They told me what I'd be doing each day, and what the goals were.  The assistants in that office had more training, and really watched technique, vs. just getting weights off a wall.  There was an assistant with me the entire time I was there - I was never left alone, never had to wait for someone, the assistant never had to go find out what I should do next.  They had me ice down after a session.

Go with your gut.  Report the therapist to the manager of the center, but also let your OS know about it.  If it's a frquent complaint, he may stop referring patients to this facility.  Find another facility, where the focus is on healing the patient.  And get well.

Jess
ACI was supposed to be 2/21/06.  On 6/29/06 Insurance co said have another scope, and if it still looks good, they'll ok the ACI.
Microfracture Dec 7, 2004
   3cm x 6cm lesion, LFC; 3cm x 1cm lesion, trochlear groove; lateral tibial plateau lesion
2nd degree black belt, tae kwon do (had to stop)

Offline Gingergin

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Re: Physical Therapy Question
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2005, 07:08:07 PM »
I agree with everyone else that you should find another PT. 

I just ended 5 1/2 months of PT all with the same therapist and he never ever turned his back to me once during any session the whole time.  He constantly asked how whatever we were doing felt, and always made sure I was doing everything correctly.  He often kept me engaged in unrelated conversation to keep me going,  always asked if I had questions, and even made sure my knee was frozen before he took the ice pack off!  He even went so far as to contact my Primary Care Physician to push me a bit to get an MRI which I needed but didn't want to get! But he told me he was going to do it before he did.  It was a big help.

Don't lose faith in what good PT can do for you, just follow your instinct and everyone's good advice and go elsewhere!

good luck.

Offline snmg30

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Re: Physical Therapy Question
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2005, 11:59:11 PM »
If you are being ignored, find a different PT, but make sure to file a complaint before you leave.  A good PT is involved with the exercises and makes sure the patient is doing ok or find out if there are any problems.  Make sure that you find out who the HEAD boss is and write them a letter or call them, make sure that you talk to someone who can help with the problem and if you feel that you were not given the respect that you deserve, go above them.  I know it is a lot of work but you deserve better treatment and no one should have to go through that.















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