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Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation

The Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Program offers interdisciplinary care to a diverse population of patients recovering from elective surgeries and other complex orthopaedic conditions, such as surgical procedures for fractures due to osteoporosis, malignancies or a fall. The program provides extensive rehabilitation post-surgery or injury, as well as education and treatment for the underlying disease processes if applicable.

Referrals & Admissions

Inpatient Referral Forms

Inpatient Admission Criteria

  • Medically stable with no significant fluctuations in medical status within 72 hours.
  • Motivated to participate in rehab, has active rehab goals, and is able to participate in two sessions of active rehab therapy five to seven days a week.
  • Able to sit unsupported for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Patient's cognitive abilities and state of mental health support participation in active rehab.
  • Pre-admit applications accepted for elective joint replacement with MMSE score of 20/30.
  • Weight bearing, or if not, has clearly identified functional goals achievable through inpatient admission.

Special needs accommodated (on a case-by-case basis) include the following:

  • IV therapy (PICC and portacath only)
  • Intermittent oxygen therapy/home oxygen
  • Tracheotomy (must by corked)
  • Intermittent tube feeds (PEG tube only)
  • Ostomy

Outpatient Referral Forms

Download our Outpatient Referral Form on our referral information page.

Please include all relevant medical/therapy reports with your application

Outpatient Admission Criteria

  • Has active rehab goals and is able to participate and tolerate increasing amount of rehab therapy.
  • Has adequate cognitive communication abilities for rehab.
  • Has a reliable means of transportation.

Cycling for exerciseProgram Details

As part of the Total Joint Network partnership, St. John's Rehab has come together with 23 organizations to implement an improved model of care for patients undergoing primary hip or knee replacement surgery. The partnership includes acute care, rehabilitation hospitals and Community Care Access Centres.

Patients who have undergone elective joint replacements participate in an intensive seven-day rehab program. Individual or group therapy is available and treatment focuses on improving function and mobility to help the patient easily reintegrate into the community.

Lifestyle adaptations are recommended and consultations may be provided through home visits as appropriate prior to discharge. Program services such as psychology, social work, psychiatry and rheumatology are available to address the diverse needs of adults of all ages.

Expert medical specialists and rehabilitation professionals individually customize rehabilitation programs that meet the complexity of health and psychosocial issues of each patient. Patients, families and team members are engaged in an ongoing review of functional goals, care plans and discharge timelines. Outpatient referrals are welcome from family physicians throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Patients can also access fee-for-service care such as massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and chiropody services to complement their rehabilitation.

For easy-to-understand information on every step of joint replacement surgery and rehabilitation, visit Opens in New Window.

Program backgrounder

St. John's Rehab at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is dedicated to specialized rehabilitation. Our musculoskeletal rehabilitation program offers care for patients recovering from elective surgeries and complex orthopaedic conditions such as surgical procedures for fractures due to osteoporosis or a fall. Patients are referred to us from acute care hospitals throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

  • The program provides extensive rehabilitation after surgery or injury. Medical specialists and health professionals help patients set individual goals for recovery, and support for their physical, social, emotional and psychological needs.
  • Patients who have undergone elective joint replacements participate in an intensive inpatient rehab program for up to seven days.
  • Falls prevention program provided to educate patients to reduce the risk of re-injury.
  • Once discharged, patients can benefit from a seamless continuum of care by being referred to our outpatient rehabilitation program.
  • Our team of rehabilitation professionals develop realistic goals and timelines with each patient and keeps in close contact with the patient and his or her family. This helps achieve maximum recovery, independence and quality of life.
  • The individually customized program consists of assessment, treatment and support focused on the whole person - body, mind and spirit.
  • Our highly skilled and committed multidisciplinary rehab team includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, speech-language pathologists, pharmacists, physicians, dietitians, social workers, psychologists and spiritual care.
  • If appropriate, patients may receive aquatherapy in our heated indoor pool, helping them recover flexibility and strength.
  • Our staff may make home visits prior to a patient's discharge to recommend lifestyle adaptations to further assist with recovery.
  • Individual or group therapy is available, which helps patients reintegrate into their community.

Our musculoskeletal program patients

April 2014 - March 2015

  • Inpatients admitted: 973
  • Outpatient visits: 13,193
  • Average active rehab length of stay: 20 days
  • Average age of patients: 77 years old
  • Patients aged 55 or older: 97 per cent
  • Gender of patients: 27 per cent male, 73 per cent female

Canadian musculoskeletal facts

  • According to the Canadian Joint Replacement Registry 2008-09 Annual Report on Hip and Knee Replacements in Canada:
  • In 2006 - 2007, there were 62,196 hospitalizations for hip and knee replacements in Canada, a 101% increase over the previous ten years.
    63% of hip replacement and 64% of knee replacement patients in 2006-2007 were aged 65 and older.
  • According to Statistics Canada:
    • Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is one of the leading causes of functional limitations in the elderly.
    • Osteoarthritis affects 10% of Canada's population.
    • By the age of 70, osteoarthritis is present in most people.
  • According to Osteoporosis Canada:
    • 2 million Canadians suffer from osteoporosis.
    • One in four women over the age of 50 has osteoporosis.
    • One in eight men over 50 has osteoporosis.
    • 80% of hip fractures are osteoporosis-related. There are approximately 25,000 hip fractures in Canada every year.
    • Hip fractures result in death in up to 20% of cases, and disability in 50% of cases.

Location and contact

Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Program

St. John's Rehab
285 Cummer Avenue,
Toronto, ON M2M 2G1

Phone: 416-226-6780
Fax: 416-226-5406

Email us

Program Brochure

Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation program brochure

PDF Download Download our Musculoskeletal Rehabiltation program brochure (PDF, 1.1 MB)

For referring organizations:
If you would like copies of our brochures for you and your patients, please fill out our Printed Material Request Form.