As your surgery nears, getting through the operation itself is probably all that’s on your mind. But having a plan before surgery
for your home set-up and what exercise you can be doing up to surgery and what exercise will be expected post-surgery, can help you build your confidence and reduce your worry going in to surgery.
No matter how much of a miracle worker your surgeon is, that skillful work can be undone without proper pre and post-surgical
rehabilitation by a physical therapist and occupational therapist.
The two main areas of concern for anyone after an operation are loss of strength and loss of mobility. Our Physical Therapist can work on reducing inflammation and strengthening related muscles pre-operatively to create the best possible environment for surgery, ensuring the best possible outcome. Not only are the specific areas on which you will be operated on will be stronger and given plenty of attention — but your overall endurance and flexibility will also be improved as you head in to surgery. This comprehensive approach to therapy before and after an operation allows you to bounce back more quickly.
Which operations should have Pre-Operative and Post-Operative Therapy?
Of course, not every pre and post-surgical rehabilitation period can be improved upon with Physical Therapy. But in many cases, this type of post-surgical rehab speeds up the recovery process. Here are a few operations for which Physical Therapists are usually recommended for pre-op and post-op care:
- Rotator cuff tear repair
- Hip, shoulder and knee joint replacements
- Ligament tears of the knee (ACL, LCL, MCL, and PCL)
- Arthroscopy and meniscus repair
- Spinal surgery
- Additional operations resulting in weakness or stiffness
- Tendon repairs
- Nerve transpositions/releases
How does pre-operative rehab improve your outcome from surgery?
Our body’s natural ability to heal itself can be impeded by excessive inflammation. Therapy can help reduce inflammation either with massage, ice/heat application, electrical stimulation and exercise. Therapy can also provide a strengthening program to the body regions surrounding the operative site to reduce the amount of loss of strength that occurs naturally by just having the surgery. Proper instruction in cane, crutch, walker or assisting to set up your home environment can lessen the fear and stress of having to learn what to do while you are in pain and on medication immediately after surgery.
How does post-surgical rehab speed recovery?
Operations such as joint replacements and spinal surgeries can result in mild to extreme discomfort. Our physical therapist can help reduce this pain in a number of ways, from applying ice, gentle massage or low-pulse electrical devices, to gently manipulating your muscles to ease tension. Assistive device use such as canes, crutches, scooters, walkers, slings or braces are sometimes crucial to an excellent and speedy recovery. The physical therapist can make sure you are using these devices properly.
Once your pain is under control, therapy can begin to address the challenges of your specific surgery. If you had knee replacement or ligament repair work, for example, moves that strengthen your knees will be part of your recovery.
Of course, being laid up can affect your body in ways that extend beyond the area of surgery. You might lose muscle mass, or even
develop breathing problems, in some instances. Your therapy will work with you to rebuild your strength and endurance, while also working the specific surgical areas.
Ready for a Consultation?
Whether you’re planning ahead or don’t know until after your surgery that you’ll need additional help getting back on your feet, contact us as soon as possible. We’ll help evaluate your pre or post-surgical rehabilitation areas of focus, and talk you through when you can expect to be back to your normal routine.