If you’ve ever had a serious injury, you know the type of pain and rehab it takes to get back. In 2009, I tore my anterior cruciate ligament in my right knee and had to undergo arthroscopic surgery to replace the ligament. After making a slow recover and thinking everything was better, I had a weight lifting injury turn out bad earlier this year, I destroyed my ACL and MCL in my left knee while squating. This injury was a little more difficult to recover from because I knew how hard my last rehab was in terms of surgery and recovery.
I’m a huge football fan and one of my favorite players is Adrian Peterson. In the weeks after therapy, I looked at Adrian Peterson as my inspiration to make a complete recovery, and come back better and stronger than before. Like me, Peterson tore his ACL and MCL in the 2011 NFL Football Season. I was reluctant to draft him for my fantasy football team this year, but given the technology of today’s orthopedic facilities, I was convinced that Peterson would be a solid running back for me. Each day at therapy, I pushed myself to do an extra rep or lift a little more weight reminding myself of Adrian Peterson all the while.
Because of the severity of the tear, I had to go through 2 months of physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around my MCL, while it fused back together. During those 2 months, I required almost 24/7 care because I couldn’t walk, drive, or really do anything without help. I spent most of my time in bed, checking out football and other shows on the Directv iPad app It was tough to find rides to physical therapy 3 times a week, so I began to look into other rehabilitation options.
I spoke to the surgeon who operated on my knee about some of my problems and we settled on telerehabilitation. Telemedicine is not a separate entity from healthcare institutions, but rather an extension of services. Patients without direct access to facilities or who live far away and those with disabilities are great candidates for telerehabilitation. Telemedicine uses communication via the internet to exchange medical information to improve the health of patients. Devices used by telemedicine include tablets, smartphones, email, computers, and a variety of other wireless internet telecommunication tools.
Three times a week, I received real-time rehabilitation interaction with my physical therapist using skype on my computer so that I could see him face to face. With the encouragement of my therapist and determination to bounce back, we practiced exercises, discussed pre-operation goals, and applied the same techniques that I would undergo on-site.
In order to maximize telemedicine, there is specially designed equipment available such as custom software and audio/video equipment to make the experience more enjoyable. With a strong Internet connection and a compatible wireless device, patients can receive specialist referral services and primary care. Telemedicine also offers remote patient monitoring that collects and sends information to your healthcare institution. Patients can also receive health and medical information through support and on-line groups.
After using telerehabilitation for pre-op and post-operation, I am well on my way to an Adrian Peterson-like recovery. If it weren’t for the advanced telecommunications technology offered today, I am sure that climbing stairs and squatting down would be inconceivable at this point in time. If you have the self-motivation and a rehabilitation center that offers this service, I highly recommend telerehabilitation, or telemedicine in general.
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