Student stories

Kinesiology student takes classroom learning to the clinic

Elizabeth May


By Elizabeth May

RebalanceMD is a new health care clinic that opened in its Saanich Uptown location in 2013. RebalanceMD encompasses many different areas of musculoskeletal care to provide a comprehensive range of services including orthopedics, physiotherapy, physiatry, sports medicine, splinting and bracing and injections. The RebalanceMD mission is to provide coordinated quality comprehensive musculoskeletal care for our community. RebalanceMD values include excellence, integrity, innovation, research and education. Many different health care professionals including all of the Capital Region’s 25 orthopedic surgeons have joined RebalanceMD with the hopes of improving the patient experience through reducing wait times and increasing ease communication between health care professionals.

RebalanceMD has recently created a partnership with Island Health to deliver postoperative services for total hip and knee replacements in the Capital Regional District. Total knee and hip replacement patients in the district who have had their surgery after September 15th 2014 are covered for physiotherapy and exercise therapy after their surgeries. These postoperative programs are offered every morning in three sessions at 8:30 a.m., 9:40 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. During these sessions, patients are assessed by a physiotherapist and given home an exercise program that is appropriate for their personal stage of their recovery. They are also educated on how to perform each exercise and what to expect during their recover.

In the photo above I am measuring the range of motion of the knee. This is a common sight during the morning postoperative program at RebalanceMD. For total knee replacement patients, measuring the range of motion at the end of each session of therapy serves two purposes. Firstly, it gives the physiotherapists and kinesiologists that run the postoperative program an idea of where the patient is in their stage of recovery. The degrees of flexion and extension that the patient reaches determines what exercises are appropriate and whether or not the patient is within a normal range for their stage of recovery. Secondly, it acts as a source of encouragement for patients who may feel depressed or frustrated with the speed of their recovery. When a person is recovering from a replacement joint surgery, the process is slow and exhausting. Seeing quantifiable improvement will often help improve moral and encourage patients to continue on with their assigned home exercise programs.

This co-op has been a huge learning experience for me. It has given me the opportunity to apply academics from past classes such as biomechanics, physiology, anatomy, care and prevention of sports injury as well as many more. It has also given me a first-hand opportunity to experience working in a rehabilitation clinic. This work term has been invaluable in supplying me with the confidence and experience necessary to take the next major step in my life from university to a career.

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