Orthopedic rehab lags in China, experts warn
Even in Shanghai's leading orthopedic hospitals, over one-third of patients failed to receive rehabilitation therapy, which is recommended for orthopedic patients to achieve optimal recovery, medical experts told a forum on Thursday.
The poor coverage of rehabilitation therapy is due to low awareness among both patients and some medical professionals, experts said.
“Orthopedists shouldn’t just focus on the success of a surgery but also on better treatment and how to cure the disease. This requires multidisciplinary coordination including surgery, orthosis and rehabilitation,” said Dr Ma Xin, vice president of Huashan Hospital. “Surgery is a procedure conducted during urgent periods, while post-surgery rehabilitation and orthosis can help patients regain function to the maximum extent and return to their normal life sooner.”
Each patient should receive rehabilitation therapy in line with their condition.
“Many patients and grassroots doctors don’t know the importance of rehabilitation or blindly visit big hospitals for rehab care,” according to Dr Ding Jian from Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital, a leading orthopedic hospital in the city. “In fact, rehab can be conducted in hospitals, clinics and even at home under the proper direction of professionals.”
Zhao Qingyi from Shanghai Medmotion Rehabilitation Clinic said rehabilitation is a mature service in the West, though it is a new concept in China. The availability of such services in the country also lags behind.
“Rehabilitation doesn’t only cover post-operation service. It involves pain management, maternal care, children’s curved spine rehab and physical status renovation,” she said. “Professional athletes, patients and ordinary people need different and targeted rehab services and guidance in line with their condition and requirements. Rehabilitation therapists can design and offer individualized direction. To improve the quality of life is the ultimate purpose of medical treatment and rehabilitation.”