Your health and safety is our top priority. Get COVID-19 info, vaccine news and see our limited-visitor policy.

Orthopedic Physical Therapy

When you need orthopedic physical therapy and rehabilitation, we’re here for you. Our rehab teams work with every population, from babies in neonatal intensive care units to 105-year-old centenarians. Our specialists can help you recover from all kinds of issues, from joint pain and concussions to sports injuries and more.

OrthopedicPhysical Therapy


Is Orthopedic Rehab & Physical Therapy Right for Me?

Whether you’ve just had surgery or are hoping to avoid surgery altogether, physical rehabilitation can help. Also called orthopedic physical therapy and orthopedic rehab, physical therapy lets you gain or regain strength, flexibility and range of motion. It can be used to help you recover from things like:

  • Joint replacement surgery
  • Carpal tunnel surgery
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • And more

Orthopedic rehab can help you boost muscle strength, improve your form so you can stay active and find ways to cope with pain, tight muscles and chronic inflammation. Physical therapy can also help you manage issues like post-surgical swelling.

Orthopedic physical therapy isn’t a substitute for surgery. If you have a dislocated or severely damaged joint, surgery may be your best option. But therapy can help you get back to the things you love faster after a surgical procedure.

Orthopedic Physical Therapy: What to Expect

At your first appointment, your physical therapist will take the time to get to know you and understand how any treatments you’ve had are impacting you. Together, you’ll discuss things like your medical history, your pain intensity and how your daily life has been affected.

Like other physical therapy, orthopedic physical therapy usually takes place a few times a week over the course of several weeks. Your therapist will create exercises for you based on your specific injury and goals. By doing carefully designed exercises with a physical therapist, you can help speed your recovery from an injury or orthopedic surgery.


Search our orthopedic conditions library.

View list of all conditions we treat. View All Conditions

The Aurora Difference

Rehab & Physical Therapy Woven Into Your Care

We believe the best results are possible when you work with specialists who are experienced in treating your unique condition. At Aurora Health Care, our closely connected team of doctors, surgeons and physical therapists combine deep experience with ongoing training to provide personalized recovery plans for you.

Under the guidance of our skilled physical therapists, many orthopedic conditions can even improve without surgery. And if you do need surgery, our therapists are there to help speed your recovery.

People also choose us for orthopedic physical therapy because we offer:

  • One-on-one sessions: It’s not uncommon for physical therapy to take place in group sessions at other hospitals and health systems. But at Aurora, all of our physical therapy sessions are one-on-one – just you and your therapist. You’ll have our undivided attention, which helps us offer the most personalized care plans possible.
  • Integrated care: Seeing one of our physical therapists means you’ll benefit from specialized orthopedic physical therapy or sports medicine rehabilitation that’s closely connected with your overall medical care. Your doctors and therapists will work directly together, sharing your medical records and collaborating along your path to recovery. Read more about our orthopedic services.
  • Easy access: Get therapy when, where and how you need it. We offer free injury evaluations and fast and convenient appointments at a location near you. We also offer direct access to therapy, which means you can receive care without a doctor’s prescription (if you’re insurance allows it) whenever you need it.
  • Programs for athletes: The best time to handle an injury is before it happens. Our physical therapists, occupational therapists and licensed athletic trainers can help improve your golf, running, cycling or pitching form – so you can prevent problems before they begin. Learn about our sports performance programs.
  • Convenient locations: With one of eastern Wisconsin and northern Michigan’s largest networks of physical therapy locations, we offer orthopedic rehab and specialty physical therapy close to where you live, work and train. Find orthopedic rehab and physical therapy.

Types of Therapists

Our Specialized Physical Therapists

Our specialized physical therapists have thousands of hours of hands-on practice in orthopedics and sports medicine. Depending on your needs, you might see one or several of the following types of therapists:

  • Orthopedic physical therapists: Orthopedic therapists can help you regain strength, flexibility and range of motion. If you’re having surgery, your orthopedic physical therapist might meet with you at your doctor’s office to help you prepare and understand what to expect – before, during and after your procedure.
  • Sports physical therapists: Sports physical therapists help athletes and active adults recover and regain strength after a sports injury. More than one-third of our therapists –over 200 in total – are certified in sports medicine. That means they’ve received additional training for treating sports injuries. Learn more about our sports injury treatments.
  • Occupational therapists: Occupational therapists focus on helping you accomplish the goals that matter most to you – whether that's driving to work again after an injury, re-learning how to tie your shoes, or getting around the house in the weeks following knee surgery. Find out more about occupational therapy.
  • Hand therapists: Hand therapists are occupational or physical therapists with expertise in treating the hands and upper extremities. With thousands of hours of experience, our certified hand therapists have specialized training in restoring and strengthening the hands, wrists, arms and elbows. Learn more about hand therapy.
  • Lymphedema therapists: If you develop excessive swelling after surgery, lymphedema therapy can help. Lymphedema therapists work to minimize swelling and related problems with massage, wrapping and other techniques you can do yourself. Read more about lymphedema therapy.
  • Balance and vestibular therapists: Balance and vestibular (inner ear) therapists can teach you exercises to reduce dizziness, vertigo and visual problems. This type of therapy can help if you’re struggling with balance and body mechanics after a concussion or other brain injury. Learn more about balance and vestibular therapy.

Tools & Techniques

Advanced Support for Rehab & Recovery

Our orthopedic physical therapists use advanced techniques and technology to help speed your recovery. We’ll help you select the right course of treatment and direct you to the location where you can benefit from specialized treatments like:

  • The AlterG® anti-gravity treadmill helps you safely increase your activity level during recovery. The treadmill supports your body weight while you rebuild strength.
  • Video analysis can help you improve your form or identify an injury.
  • Dry needling (also called trigger point dry needling) uses a thin needle inserted through the skin to release tight muscles. This technique is used to relieve pain and restore movement for conditions like plantar fasciitis.
  • Cupping is an ancient treatment that can ease soft-tissue pain, including lower back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Find an Orthopedic Specialist

Use our search tool to find the specialist who’s right for you.

Send Us a Message

Contact us to learn more about our orthopedic care.

Get a Free Injury Evaluation

We get to the source of the pain and offer personalized care recommendations.

Your Life Your Health

Manage your care from anywhere, anytime. 


Vaccine Update

Please be patient as vaccine supplies are currently limited.

At this time, we’re vaccinating our most vulnerable patients based on CDC guidelines. If you’re our patient, we’ll contact you to schedule when it’s your turn based on available vaccine supplies.