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Selecting a PT

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I also completely ruptured my quadricep.   I have been enjoying reading the exchange of info on this board - it has been a great help in understanding what to expect.   I am scheduled for surgery next Thursday at UCLA ortho and start pt the following Monday.   However, I live 25 miles from UCLA and so I asked if they could refer me to a pt closer to my home.   Unfortunately, the OS said he did not have a pt suggestion/referral near me (only in Westwood).


What criteria do you suggest in selecting a PT?   Should they have at a minimum some  weight machines?   It would seem that a leg extension machine would be very helpful starting around the midstage of my recovery.   How important is having this and other similar machines?   What about other supplemental weight bearing machines such as a pulley for squats, abductor and hamstring machines?


Is it wise to only consider a pt that has prior experience rehabing a ruptured quad?   


Any  other criteria you would use in selecting a pt?



post #2 of 3

Unfortunately, there may not be any effective way to screen or qualify PT's before one commits to one...   They operate under the old fashioned notion that all PTs are fully capable...


I have found wide variation in PT's ability.   A VERY wide variation.   That started 15 years watching my mom get repeated rounds of PT after a stroke limited her movements.   With some she progressed rapidly and strongly.  With others (who mostly just went through the motions) she did not progress at all.


My personal experience has been similar...


I have found the best PTs -- or, rather, the only good ones -- are those who listen to the patient and design and adapt their treatment recommendations on the personal level rather than just following some preset protocol that they pull out of a computer...   It's more work for them to think -- but at $125 an hour, well, maybe they should try it!!!


Another red flag is when you go in for PT and only see the PT tech (not the PT) and the exercises and protocols never change...  Either you are not doing the work, or their protocols are ineffective. They are just taking your money.


But, back to the original question:   How do you find a good one?

...  It seems that it may just be a matter of trial and error... 

post #3 of 3
I completely agree with the above. And I would add a few suggestions.

1. Is there anither health care provider you trust and know is good? Or a trainer? Ask them for a recommendation.
2. Ask friends but listen carefully to the wording they use. "I have been seeing John for two years for my knee and he's great" is glowing recommedntaion that John is nice, but not that he's good. "I saw Jen for a couple months when. I had my knee probelm" is a good recommendation.

And once you try someone, I look for a couple things:
1. If they spend more time putting you on machines than working on you with their hands, then keep looking.
2. If after a month you're not seeing any progress, it may be time to move on. In this case, asking about it may be your best option. They should have a plan, and at this point, should share it with you. Even a great physio may not be able to fix some problems, but they will be aware that they aren't hitting the mark in this case. Note, I don't mean everything will be fixed in a month, but there should be some progress.

Good luck. It can be hard to find good ones. But worth it, as good ones can be so helpful for recovery.
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