I recently became aware of a patient who was told to do physical therapy by an MD because insurance requires it, but ultimately the patient would need surgery for a rotator cuff tear (RTC). This RTC tear was the result of chronic irritation and breakdown, and not the result of a traumatic incident or injury.
This same scenario has become all to common and I daily encounter patients who have similar stories with the same path. Responses from MD’s like “you’ll have to do PT, but will probably need a surgery” is setting the patient up for failure before they’ve even had a chance to succeed. Part of rehabilitation is a mindset and when people are provided info and junk that is negative, how are they suppose to respond?
The body is resilient and can respond positively to progressive load and exercise, manual soft tissue treatments, modalities for pain control, education and understanding of how our body heals and adapts to change. I have successfully treated many people who were told they would need surgery and then didn’t. Now, has rehab always, 100%, been successful…No! If rehab always worked, why would we need orthopedic surgeons. But give your physical therapist credit for their education, background, and experience. They may be able to help you get back to your goals without an expensive surgery and length post-operative rehab process.
Matt Barth, PT at Elite Chiropractic & Physical Therapy