Physical Therapists play a key role in helping patients to recover following surgery. However, the road to recovery doesn’t have to wait until after surgery. In fact, therapists can play a key role in pre-surgical therapy, to optimize your results following surgery.
Many people are not aware of the many benefits of a structured pre-operative or “pre-habilitation” program to help restore joint mobility, flexibility and strength prior to surgery. This is a program designed by your physical therapists to help you prior to surgery so that you can have a great outcome after surgery. The goals of a pre-habilitation program:
- Prepare for surgery and understand what to expect following surgery.
- Reduce pain and inflammation for better outcomes following surgery
- Restore range of motion
- Improving muscular strength, control and endurance of the injured joint
- Normalizing walking and movement patterns prior to your surgery
- Gain a good understanding of the exercises that you will perform immediately after surgery
Physical therapy is many times indicated following any joint orthopedic surgeries such as on the hip, knee, shoulder, wrist, hand, neck, foot, ankle, and spine to help facilitate quicker recovery. Physical therapy may start anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks after surgery depending on extent of surgery, complications and physician recommendation.
A patient’s ability to regain motion and strength and ultimately return to function, activities and work will depend on a patient’s commitment to physical therapy. The body will not regain normal motion following surgery without specific retraining. Our physical therapists are trained on specific post-surgical protocols to restore range of motion and strength and to prevent re-injury during the post-operative recovery process. Our physical therapy programs are designed optimize the healing process.
A thorough evaluation is performed by your physical therapist at your first visit. At that time goals will be set to minimize the adverse effects of surgery such as pain and inflammation, restoring normal movement, flexibility and function and getting you back to work and play as quickly as possible. The therapist and patient will work together to establish functional goals to return to normal activities. The physical therapist will then design an individualized exercise program both for therapy as well as at home.
- Post-operative treatments may specifically include:
- Modalities for pain and inflammation control such as ice, heat, and electrical stimulation
- Flexibility and range of muscles exercises
- Muscle strengthening and endurance exercises
- Posture, balance, gait and coordination training
- Gait analysis and training
- Self-Treatment Strategies
- Home Exercise Instruction