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Trauma Orthopaedics


What is the Trauma and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Service?

The Trauma and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy service is a group of experienced paediatric physiotherapists who see patients on the wards after an orthopaedic procedure, fracture, injury or joint/bone infection that affects their mobility and/or joint range of movement.

What physiotherapy might involve

The physiotherapist will be asked to see patients on the ward if they struggling with mobility or have a problem with a specific joint such as a knee, ankle or hip. The patient will be seen by an experienced physiotherapist to go through a detailed assessment on which to base an appropriate treatment plan. This may consist of:

  • Advice and education - they will advise on any specific protocols/restrictions that need to be followed as well as positioning to optimise recovery. They also give advice on how to manage at home whilst the patients' mobility is restricted and provide guidance on returning to school/activities.
  • Mobilisation - they will help to get patients moving and provide them with any walking aids that may be required to enable them to mobilise safely. This will very much depend on the size, age and abilities of the child. If a child has stairs at home, they will need to practice going up and down the stairs before they are discharged to ensure they can manage this safely.
  • Exercise programme - these will be provided to do on the ward to prevent any restrictions developing in joint range of movement and muscle weakness. This may need to be continued at home.
  • Referral on to other services - such as the occupational therapists and local physiotherapy teams.

Will we see everybody who has an orthopaedic problem?

Not all patients will need physiotherapy as an inpatient. Some patients are able to mobilise safely without requiring assessment. Other children may not require physiotherapy as an inpatient but may require physiotherapy input later on down the line such as upper limb fractures/surgery or following removal of casts. In these cases, patients will be referred to their local physiotherapy service by the orthopaedic doctors in clinic.

How are patients referred to the trauma and orthopaedic physiotherapists?

The nursing staff on the ward, the major trauma team and the doctors can contact the physiotherapist either via the main physiotherapy department or via a bleep. Some patients for example those who are booked in for elective surgery may already be known to the physiotherapy team.



Physiotherapy Main Reception - 01173428525


Useful Links

Orthopaedics at Bristol Children's Hospital