The Pocket Physio app provides information about exercise programmes, following surgery. It also has tips and videos on general recovery, including walking using a frame or crutches, managing discomfort and strategies for showering, dressing, pain management and getting in and out of vehicles. The app features a calendar that reminds patients when to exercise. Note: The exercises are best suited to someone following total hip and knee joint replacement and are likely to be less applicable to other surgeries and those injuries that don’t require surgery. For the complete app description, go to the App store or Google Play, or for a detailed review, see Reviews.
✔ Easy to use.
✔ Clear videos and pictures of most exercises and information.
✔ Helpful information section addressing mobility with frame and crutches, stairs, dressing, car transfers and breathing exercises.
✔ The app is made by a reputable organisation (Care UK).
✔ Reminders for appointments and for exercises.
✘ Only compatible on Apple devices in New Zealand. Not compatible on Android devices.
✘ Some buttons unresponsive at times.
✘ Instructions for the exercises were clear but some lacked detail, eg, frequency/number of repetitions.
✘ App can only be viewed with iPad in vertical position not horizontal.
✘ The self assessment section for the hand is a fist range of motion exercise - not a self assessment as indicated.
✘ More videos for “normal gait” and ACBT breathing techniques would be useful for the user.
September 2022, 2.0.4, Apple
July 2016, 2.0.2, Android
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Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team. Reviewed By: Chris Lawrence, Community Physiotherapist
Last reviewed: 29 Sep 2022
Reviewer: Chris Lawrence, Community Physiotherapist Date of review: September 2022 Platform: Apple Version: 2.0.4 Comments: Pocket Physio app is for anybody wanting to prepare for and recover from hip, knee, hand or foot surgery. It is noted that this has been grouped in generalized surgical groups (eg, knee surgery, hip surgery). There is typically a lot of variation in the post-surgery exercise protocols in these groups. The chosen exercises would be very applicable following total knee or total hip joint replacement, but would be less comprehensive following an ACL repair, or minor hip surgery.
It is acknowledged that there are no guidelines on numbers of exercises to be performing. It is likely that this app is most helpful by using the videos as a visual reminder for exercises that have already been prescribed by a physiotherapist or doctor, as opposed to being an app-directed prescription.
The General Recovery section is very helpful. Having videos to demonstrate correct use of walking aids, going up and down stairs, transferring into the car, are all very helpful.
The reminder feature will likely help some users perform their post-surgical exercises regularly, and may help with compliance.
Overall, Pocket Physio is a good app in the context of providing videos and visual cues for a programme that has already been given by a physiotherapist or doctor. It would not be advised in the context of self-administering exercises after surgery. Safety concerns: No mention of safe numbers of repetitions. Potential for a user to assign themselves exercises that are not safe to do after a particular surgery. New Zealand relevance: Overall, very applicable in a NZ context. Often in NZ the time in hospital post-surgery can be limited, and having the videos will be helpful. Some of the terminology is different eg. referring to a short arc exercises, which we would call inner range quads.
Reviewer: Adam Leys, Community Physiotherapist, Waitematā DHB Date of review: July 2016 Platform: Android Version: 2.0.2 Comments: This app is designed for pre and postoperative orthopaedic patients who have undergone surgery for Dupuytren's in the hand, total hip joint replacement, total knee joint replacement, or Cheilectomy or Morton's Neuroma and Ganglion removal in the foot. Users are likely to benefit from the good photos and video references that coincide with advice given in the hospital. Safety concerns: I think each section should have a clear reminder about following surgeon requested restrictions postoperatively. The hip section has this but the knee, foot and hand section does not. New Zealand relevance: Since this app is created by Care UK for U.K users, the Contact and Our Treatment Centres information is not relevant to New Zealand users.