Tom Willemann Health Tips

"Regular Health Tips From Physical Therapist Tom Willemann..."

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Should I have surgery?

surgery image

Should I have surgery?

I always recommend friends, patients and family to get an physical therapy evaluation before they undergo an orthopedic surgery.
The reason is twofold. 

  1. Evaluation ensures that loss of strength or range of motion is not the root cause of their problem.  Various studies have shown that osteoarthritis may be present but symptomless.  Further research and my experience, indicate that people with a diagnosis of moderate, not severe, arthritis can received significant relief from physical therapy alone.
  2. The second reason for pre-operative physical therapy is that it may lead to an enhanced surgical outcome.  Studies indicate that a normal gait pattern, reduction of swelling, good strength, and range of motion before surgery can make for a smoother recovery.  Another positive outcome may be the need for less medication with its accompanying side effects.

Of course, certain patients have great strength and range of motion and truly have structural changes that will only benefit from surgery.  In such cases, a delay in surgery can result in long term health problems.  That’s why an evaluation by a competent physical therapist, orthopedist, or an appropriate medical practitioner is always indicated.
Although I admit to a certain bias, I feel that this is a win/win situation for my patients.

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Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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