The Aquatic Therapy & Rehab Institute (ATRI) offers an online Total Joint Replacement Specialty Certificate Program designed to present the benefits and considerations for early initiation of aquatic therapy post-total joint replacement. According to the ATRI website, the course will review current surgical procedures relating postoperative precautions, protocols, and healing time-frame for total shoulder arthoplasty, total hip arthoplasty, and total knee arthroplasty. The site adds that new procedures, such as “minimally invasive” hip replacements, resurfacing, and hemiarthroplasty, will be included.

In addition to the benefits and considerations for early initiation of aquatic therapy, the course will discuss safe techniques for the application of waterproof dressing. The course, the site notes, is designed to integrate evidence-based research with clinical “pearls” for rehabilitation of total joint replacement surgery. Manual techniques for improving range of motion, progression of therapeutic exercise to improve gait, balance, and return to function will be the focus of the pool lab portion of this course.

The site states that course objectives include describing postsurgical precautions in individuals who have undergone joint replacement surgery for hip, knee, or shoulder joints; safely cuing and progressing aquatic exercise for individuals post total joint replacement surgery; and discussing current research related to aquatic therapy and total joint replacement rehabilitation.

Other course objectives include gaining the ability to develop aquatic exercise strategies to facilitate gait and balance for individuals post-total joint replacement, perform techniques to safely improve joint mobility in the “stiff” postop knee, and describe proper application of tegaderm/waterproof dressing.

Beth Scalone, PT, DPT, OCS, ATRIC, owner of North County Water and Sports Therapy Center in San Diego, is one of the course’s instructors. Scalone provides hands-on clinical care in addition to her role as educator. Since graduating from the University of Connecticut in 1991, the site says she has belonged to the American Physical Therapy Association and has achieved certification as a clinical specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy. In January 2006, she graduated from Boston University with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Additional certifications include Certified STOTT Pilates instructor and Master Instructor for the Burdenko Method.

Second course instructor Terri Mitchell, BA, PTA, ATRIC, is a training specialist with the Aquatic Exercise Association, a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) specializing in aquatic therapy, and instructor of a variety of aquatic fitness classes to persons of all ages and abilities. She holds certifications from AEA, ATRI, and IAR. Terri is a certified personal trainer for both land and water. She is also co-author of the Applications of PNF Techniques in the Aquatic Setting manual and co-producer of the PNF in the Pool video. She is the 2001 recipient of ATRI’s Dolphin Award and the 2010 recipient of the ATRI Professional Award.

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[Source: ATRI]