Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

What is DEXA scanning?

Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, or DEXA scanning, is a commonly used method to measure bone mineral density. Bone mineral density is widely accepted as a good indicator of bone strength; thus low values can be compared against standard bone density measurements and help predict a patient’s risk for fracture.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is caused by the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage is the tough elastic material that covers and protects the ends of bones. Bits of cartilage may break off and cause pain and swelling in the joint between bones. This pain and swelling are called inflammation. Over time the cartilage may wear away entirely, and the bones will rub together. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint but usually affects hips, knees, hands, and spine.

Can I eat or drink anything before my surgery? Can I take my medications?

You should have nothing to eat after midnight, the night before your surgery. Ask your doctor about whether or not to take any medications you may be on. If you can take your medications, you should do so with only a sip of water.

What is the difference between an M.D. physician and a D.O. physician?

The initials M.D. stand for “Doctor of Medicine, ” and D.O. stands for “Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine”. While both M.D.’s and D.O.’s may use all accepted methods of treatment, including prescribing medication and performing surgery, D.O.s are trained to be doctors first, and specialists second. They place special emphasis on the body’s musculoskeletal system, preventive health care, and holistic patient care.

PHYSICAL THERAPY

What do I need to wear for my physical therapy session?

Depending on your injury, specific clothing may be requested:

  • Knee – Shorts would be best, but any loose slacks or sweats that pull up well over the knee are acceptable
  • Ankle – Shorts or loose fitting slacks that pull up at least to the knee, in case a whirlpool is ordered, are acceptable
  • Shoulder – Any loose fitting, short sleeved top is appropriate Hip – Shorts are preferred, but any loose fitting slacks are acceptable
  • Neck – No turtleneck tops, but any crew neck or button down shirt is acceptable
  • Low back – Any loose fitting, comfortable clothing is appropriate. We prefer NOT jeans; they tend to be too confining with movement

How long will my physical therapy session last?

The initial physical therapy visit will entail an evaluation and the beginning of your treatment. It will last approximately one hour. All follow-up visits are about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes depending on the severity of your injury.

Will I have a co-pay for physical therapy?

Generally, there is a co-pay for physical therapy, but this is dependent on YOUR particular insurance policy. We suggest that each patient who is scheduled for physical therapy call their insurance carrier to verify their physical therapy coverage and check on their physical therapy co-pay. Most insurances also provide a personal booklet for the participant and /or give them an internet address where they can verify co-pay information. Co-payment is generally due at time of service.

Will my physical therapy co-pay be the same as my physician office visit co-pay?

It may be, but generally, the physical therapy co-pay is different than the doctor’s office visit co-pay. This is one reason that we request you contact your insurance carrier about the co-pay amount for this service.

Will I experience any pain during my physical therapy session?

Although rehabilitation from an injury is never easy, your physical therapist will make every effort to insure you are comfortable during your treatment and that any pain you experience is kept to a minimum. We believe in using ice after the treatment session to help relieve any soreness that you may experience.

Do I need a referral for lymphedema rehabilitation services?

Yes, a referral is required from your physician.

Does insurance cover lymphedema treatment?

Most insurers cover this treatment, but you should always check with your provider for your specific coverage.

How long will my lymphedema visits be, and how often will I need to come?

All visits will last one hour. After your Initial Evaluation, the therapist will determine the frequency of visits depending on the severity of the patient’s lymphedema.

Are bandages and compression sleeves covered by insurance?

Most insurance companies do not cover compression bandages. However, most insurance providers do cover compression garments. Medicare does not cover compression bandages or sleeves.

How long will I have to wear my compression garment?

Lymphedema is a chronic disease that must be managed throughout your life, just like diabetes or high blood pressure.

How long will my visits be and how often will I need to come?

All visits will last one hour. Initially, you will need to come five days a week for a period determined by the physical therapist. After the intensive phase of treatment is completed, the frequency will be decreased to 2-3 visits/week for a few weeks.

What is the training of lymphedema rehabilitation specialists?

Therapists providing lymphedema treatment meet the Lymphology Association of North America requirements of 45 hours of theory and 90 hours of hands-on instruction (135 hours total).

BILLING

Will I have a co-pay for physical therapy?

Generally, there is a co-pay for physical therapy, but this is dependent on YOUR particular insurance policy. We suggest that each patient who is scheduled for physical therapy call their insurance carrier to verify their physical therapy coverage and check on their physical therapy co-pay. Most insurances also provide a personal booklet for the participant and /or give them an internet address where they can verify co-pay information. Co-payment is generally due at time of service.

Will my physical therapy co-pay be the same as my physician office visit co-pay?

It may be, but generally, the physical therapy co-pay is different than the doctor’s office visit co-pay. This is one reason that we request you contact your insurance carrier about the co-pay amount for this service.