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Preparing for a Physical Therapy Appointment
Your first appointment will last about 1 hour. Follow-up appointments are between 30 to 60 minutes depending on your injury and the therapist's assessment of what is necessary. To help you the most from the very beginning please do the following:
- Bring or wear comfortable clothing allowing you to move freely.
- Bring the results of any X-rays, MRI, or other tests relevant to your injury.
- Please access Patient Forms in the Patient Portal and fill them out before your first appointment. Don't forget to bring them with you! If you are unable to do this, please arrive 20 minutes before your first appointment to fill out the forms.
- Bring your insurance card.
Insurance & Payment Options
We work with many health plans and insurance companies. There are some insurance plans, however, that we are not able to work with and still maintain our services at a good level of care. Although most insurance companies do cover physical therapy, what they cover specifically varies greatly. When calling to make an appointment, we will call your insurance and find out your benefits. We will let you know what your insurance will cover and if you are responsible for a part of the cost. Whenever you have any questions regarding insurance, billing or payment options, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Preparing for Surgery
In order to complete all admission procedures, you are to arrive at our facility at the time given to you when you receive your pre-op phone call by our nursing staff. To ensure the desired surgical outcome, please pay careful attention to the following:
- It is very important that you speak with someone from the surgery center prior to the date of surgery. If you have not been contacted by us, please call the center at (626) 396-8100 before the scheduled surgery to confirm your appointment.
- If you have had a physical exam or pre-operative tests within the last 30 days, please ask your primary physician’s office to send the reports to us (Attn: Pre-Op Nurse) prior to your arrival. This information may be faxed to (626) 396-8121.
- Please make arrangements for a responsible adult to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you the first 24 hours. You will not be permitted to leave the Surgery Center alone after receiving anesthetic drugs. It is important that you call your surgeon at (626) 795-8051 if you should develop a cold, sore throat, cough, fever, or other symptoms of illness before the surgery.
- Please print and fill out the patient forms listed below and bring them on the day of surgery.
- Notice of Privacy Practices
- Patient Registration Form
- Advance Directive PT Information Sheet
- Advance Directive Notice
- Patient Health and Pre-Anesthesia Form
- Patient Rights and Responsibilities
- Patient Rights and Responsibilities (Spanish Version)
Do's & Dont's
- Do not eat or drink anything including water after midnight, the day prior to your surgery, unless our staff tells you otherwise.
- Please do not chew gum, candy or breath mints.
- Take your usual morning medications with a small sip of water only.
- If you have asthma, you may use your inhaler. Bring your inhaler to the Surgery Center.
- Please contact the surgery center for instructions on taking insulin and oral diabetes medication.
- Please refrain from consuming alcohol or from smoking for 24 hours prior to and after your surgery.
- If you are taking blood thinning medications, ask your surgeon when to stop taking it prior to your surgery.
- Discontinue all herbal medication, diet pills and exercise stimulants two weeks prior to your surgery date. Failure to do so may result in your surgery being canceled.
- Please do not wear makeup or contact lenses. Bring a case for your glasses, if you wear them.
- A denture container will be provided if needed.
- Do not bring valuables or jewelry with you to the Center.
- Please remove all body piercing jewelry prior to arrival.
Day of Surgery
- Shower or bathe the morning of surgery to decrease the risk of infection.
- Wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes.
- All patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian who must remain on Congress Orthopaedic Surgical Center premises during your entire stay.
Patient/visitor parking is available just north of the Congress Orthopaedic Surgical Center building. The entrance to this parking lot is on Raymond. There will be a $5.00 flat rate charge.
Meeting Your Anesthesiologist
The day of your surgery, you will have the opportunity to speak with your anesthesiologist. He will review your medical history questionnaire and answer all the questions you may have. At the time of pre-registration, a nurse will conduct a brief interview and give you specific instructions to prepare you for surgery. If pre-operative studies are required by your physician, the nurse will give you instructions regarding where to go to have these tests done.
Hours & Scheduling
Congress Orthopaedic Surgical Center is open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Your surgery/procedure will be arranged by your physician or his office staff.
The charge for your procedure includes the use of the facility, personalized nursing care, medications, supplies, and equipment. Any special tests ordered by your physician (ie: blood tests, chest x-ray, EKG, pathology) will be billed to your insurance by the facility where the services were rendered.
A deductible and or co-pay may be required before care can be rendered. If you are covered by medical insurance, please present your insurance I.D. card at the time of registration. If your deposit or insurance coverage exceeds your charges, you will receive a refund check. If you are not covered by medical insurance, full payment is required at the time of registration. All forms of credit card are accepted.
Most procedures will require a recovery period in the Recovery Room. The length of the stay in the Recovery Room will vary, but most patients are discharged 1-2 hours after their surgery. Please make arrangements for a responsible adult to drive you home and stay with you the rest of the day and during the night.
Post Operative Instructions
Post Operative Instructions
These are general instructions given to patients after surgery. On the day of surgery, the recovery room nurse will go over the instructions specific to your procedure.
- Facet Blocks/Epidural Injection - Dr. Costigan/Dr. Lee
- Nerve Root Block/Facet Block - Local Anesthesia - Dr. Ashford
- Spine Surgery: Micro Discectomy/Laminectomy Instructions
- Ankle Arthroscopy Post-Operative Instructions
- Ankle Fracture Repair Post-Operative Guidelines
- Ankle Ligament Reconstruction Post-Operative Guidelines
- Ankle Tendon Repair / Calcaneal Osteomy Post-Operative Guidelines
- Ankle Tendon Repair Post-Operative Guidelines
- General Post-Operative Guidelines for Ankle Surgery
- Achilles Tendon Post-Operative Instructions
- Bunionectomy with Distal Metatarsal Osteotomy
- Bunionectomy with Metatarsal Osteotomy
- Cheilectomy Post-Operative Instructions
- Foot Fracture Repair Post-Operative Guidelines
- Hammertoe Correction Instructions
- Hardware Removal Post-Operative Guidelines
- Metatarsophalangeal Arthrodesis of the Big Toe Post-Operative Guidelines
- Midfoot Arthrodesis Post-Operative Guidelines
- Neuroma Post-Operative Guidelines
- Plantar Fasciotomy, Endoscopic Post-Operative Guidelines
- Toe Fracture Open Reduction Internal Fixation Surgery Post-Operative Guidelines
Preparing For an MRI
What Happens During the Procedure?
During the MRI exam, you will be lying on a firm table. The technologist will position you on the table and then move the table to the center of the MRI machine. The inside of the machine is like a giant tunnel that is well lit and open on each end. The MRI makes a loud knocking noise while we take the image. For your comfort, you will be given ear plugs or ear phones to listen to music during the exam. The test takes approximately one hour. When the test is finished, you are free to go. The Radiologist will interpret the pictures and send a report to your physician.
Because we use a strong magnet in the MRI, patients who have pacemakers cannot have an MRI exam. You will be asked to complete an MRI Patient Screening form prior to your exam. Additional information or testing may be needed prior to your MRI exam to ensure that it is safe for you to have this test if such tests are necessary, you will be notified prior to the MRI exam.
Will my Insurance Pay for an MRI?
Most insurance companies require pre-authorization for an MRI exam. For your convenience that authorization will be done for you by our office in advance. For specific information about insurance coverage or for payment questions, please contact your insurance company directly.
What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy involves using a variety of techniques to help you function better. We will be able to help your muscles, joints, ligaments, your nervous system, and your general condition (heart & lungs) function at its maximum capacity. Our goal is to help you become pain free and to achieve the best condition possible. Physical therapists are university educated and Board Certified professionals.
What is an MRI?
An MRI is an imaging machine that uses a large magnet, a computer, and radio waves to look inside the body and to evaluate various body parts. MRI is painless it requires minimal preparation, and it can lead to early detection and treatment of many health problems.
Why do I Need an MRI?
There are many reasons why your physician may order an MRI. Indications may include: Back pain, recent joint or spine injury.
Where Does Pain Come From?
There are many causes of pain, but the most common causes of pain are:
- Bad posture result in increased stress on muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerve tissue, and joints. This increased stress results in gradual deterioration of tissues. The quality of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints can decrease so much that even normal activities of daily living will irritate these tissues. This can result in inflammation (tendinitis, arthritis), partial- or even full tears. For example: prolonged backward tilt of the pelvis (slouching), can lead to a rounded shoulder position, creating an impingement of a rotator cuff tendon, leading to shoulder tendonitis.
- Due to muscular imbalance or "joint-stiffness" physiological movements can be altered, resulting into increased stress and deterioration of several tissues. For example: when we lift an object with a rounded lower back because our quadriceps are too weak, we increase the stress on our lumber spine discs, making it vulnerable to "spraining", or even worse "tearing" it (herniated disc).
What Happens When We Get Older?
It is All About Quality Of Life
When we get older, all of us experience our bodies not working as well as when we were younger. From about the age of thirty years old, our bodies slowly start to function less effectively. The way we function, which determines our quality of life, depends mainly on the level of our condition, our fitness level.
What Is Condition?
Condition consists out of five aspects:
- Coordination (balance)
Have You Experienced Some Of The Following Symptoms?
The natural aging process decreases all five components of condition. This will result in the following symptoms: we get weaker, more easily tired (have less energy), stiffer, balance problems, slower, and more aches and pains. Have you experienced one or more symptoms?
The Good News
Although it is inevitable to experience a natural decrease in performance, the good news is that all people can improve their condition. In other words, the process of de-conditioning is reversible, no matter what their current level of condition or age is. Even when you are in your seventies or eighties, you will be able to improve your condition by 5, 10, or 15 years. In other words, if you are eighty and you start taking care of yourself by exercising regularly, you will be able to function as if you are seventy years old.
There Is Only One Way!
There is only ONE way of improving your condition: exercise. There is no magic pill that will improve it.
It Is Never Too Late To Make A Change:
When we are in our 20s and 30s, we get away with not taking good care of our bodies. Once we start to hit our forties our bodies need regular tune-ups. If we neglect these warnings we start to pay a more serious price in our fifties and up. The way we function in our seventies depends largely on how we have taken care of our bodies on our fifties and sixties. Ultimately in our eighties and nineties, the difference fitness makes is the difference between being dependent or independent.
We are here to help you get in the best condition possible in the safest and most efficient way. To start your “Restorative Fitness” Program please make an appointment today!
How Do I Live a Healthy Lifestyle?
Be Physically Active!
Never resign yourself to the couch and think that "exercise is not for me". The ONLY WAY to prevent the following symptoms of aging (getting weaker, getting tired more easily, getting stiffer, decreased balance, moving slower, and having aches and pains) is by exercising! To create a better quality of life, and to extend your life, you need to get active! Medication, massage, easy walking/gardening, even good nutrition won't get you in a better condition. Although these things can make you feel better and some are even necessary, they won't increase your strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination or speed. Be committed to be active for the rest of your life. You need to be active at least five times per week: speed walking, swimming, biking, jogging, etc. And at least twice per week strengthening training. Keep those muscles strong and active for the rest of your life!