Telemedicine for Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Postoperative Rehabilitation

Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2021 May;32(2):319-353. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2020.12.004. Epub 2021 Feb 15.


Telehealth visits result in high-quality care, with high patient and provider satisfaction. Strong evidence suggests that virtual physical therapy is noninferior to conventional face-to-face physical therapy for a variety of musculoskeletal disorders. Postoperative telerehabilitation has a strong positive effect on clinical outcomes, and the increased intensity telerehabilitation programs offer is a promising option for patients. Studies demonstrate effective virtual postoperative management. The novel coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has led to improved reimbursement for telehealth visits and accelerated widespread implementation of telemedicine. This article establishes experience and evidence-based practice guidelines for conducting telemedicine visits, with emphasis on the virtual physical examination.

Keywords: Musculoskeletal injuries; Postoperative orthopedics; Telemedicine; Virtual physical examination.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / therapy*
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / physiopathology
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / therapy*
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pandemics
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Postoperative Care / methods*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Telemedicine / methods*