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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
Rehabilitation, or physical therapy, involves the use of hands-on therapy, exercise, and the use of physical agents such as heat, cold, electrical stimulation, and hydrotherapy. Orthopedic problems requiring some form of rehabilitation, can range in complexity. Many sports-related injuries or simple bone fractures may require little or no formal rehabilitation or a few hours of physical therapy. More serious injuries, including multiple bone fractures, amputation, joint replacement surgeries, and hip, knee, and pelvis fractures, can have lifelong consequences and often result in a short-term disability. The road to recovery may require specialized rehabilitation to make sure the affected body parts can operate at their maximum levels of function. Patients can seek rehabilitation in two types: inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient rehabilitation requires an individual to maintain residence at a rehabilitation facility until therapy is complete. Outpatient rehabilitation allows you to attend a facility while still living at home. Placement into inpatient, outpatient, or day hospital treatment models is based on each patient's medical stability, need for nursing care, rehabilitation goals, and home support system. In addition, the duration of inpatient and outpatient programs varies according to individual rehabilitation. For those patients suffering from traumatic injuries such as brain injury, paralysis, stroke, and neurological disorders, specialized care may be required to achieve full recovery.

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