Post Surgical Rehabilitation
Pre & Post Surgical Rehabilitation - For patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery the post-operative physiotherapy protocol that they follow will be critical to the result that they want to achieve.
Generally speaking post-operative physiotherapy occurs in three phases. The early recovery phase, the strength and range of motion phase and lastly the functional restoration phase.
Physiotherapy in the Early Recovery Phase:
This phase begins as soon as you are discharged from surgery and carries on until your tissues have healed, the swelling from surgery has dissipated and the pain associated with the surgery has mostly resolved. During this period of time your Physiotherapist will be focused on the following;
• Pain relief
• Reducing swelling
• Gentle manual therapy to restore joint range of motion.
• Assistance with early walking.
• Simple exercises to begin to regain muscle function without disrupting healing.
Physiotherapy in the Strength and Range of Motion Phase:
Once you have reached the appropriate milestones for your specific surgery and the post-op pain and swelling have reduced your physiotherapy program will become focused on normalizing the range of motion, mechanics and strength of your body. During this time, your post-op physiotherapy program will likely include;
• More difficult strength exercises.
• The introduction of some balance and proprioception tasks.
• Manual therapy to restore full joint range of motion.
• Soft tissue treatment to ensure you regain full mobility.
Physiotherapy in the Functional Restoration Phase:
When your surgical site is ready and your strength has returned sufficiently to do more complex exercises safely you will move into the functional restoration phase of your post-op physiotherapy program. Each person uses their body differently and has a lifestyle that has different physical demands. It is important that each patients Physiotherapy program is designed to meet their physical goals. While one patient may be looking to return to an elite level of sport, another may simply need to be able to get down on the floor to play with their grandchildren. Therefore, the program must progress toward the goals of the patient. During this period of time you may be doing some of the following;
• A progression of exercises designed to meet a complex functional goal.
• More difficult and complex balance and proprioception exercises.
• Manual therapy to restore full joint range of motion (if not already achieved)