Post- Operative Rehabilitation
Post- operative rehabilitation is essential for nearly all orthopedic surgeries. Focus can range from gaining motion, improving strength, reducing pain and inflammation, and most importantly regaining functional independence in life. Successful completion of surgery along with proper healing time will resolve the structural issues involved in pain, but underlying muscle imbalances and improper movement patterns may remain. These imbalances and movement patterns are often the cause of the pain or injury and must be addressed to avoid future issue with the affected joint or surrounding structures.
Restrictions in joint mobility will be addressed with varying degrees of joint mobilization and range of motion techniques. Each patient’s treatment is gauged by their pain tolerance as well as the level of restriction present within the joint. Although protecting the healing tissues is necessary, early mobilization by a skilled therapist is required to prevent scar tissue build up and stiffening, which could reduce mobility after surgery. The restrictions in muscle length, strength, proper firing patterns and coordination of movement is addressed with unique therapeutic exercise programs.
Every program is designed to meet the patient’s individual needs which are determined by muscle testing and a functional movement assessment. Visual and verbal feedback during each movement is recorded and taken into consideration. The addition of varying degrees of electrical stimulation and hands on techniques may also be applied.
During post- operative rehabilitation, inflammation and pain are treated with a combination of modalities and manual techniques. This can range from soft tissue treatment, myofascial focus, massage, electrical stimulation, compression, laser, ice, and moist heat among others. Throughout the progression of a post-operative rehabilitation program, the focus is to return the patient to their previous level of function both pre- operatively and pre- injury. Further goals are set to even surpass their prior level of function in order to maximize quality of life.
Post operative physical therapy is appropriate for all levels of surgery including, but not limited to joint replacement, fusion, muscle or tendon repair, and ligament reconstruction. It is important to remember that even though structural faults may be corrected by surgery, our ability to move and interact in our environment and with each other is always worth improving.
Please contact your SportsCare Physical Therapy location to schedule an appointment.
We look forward to meeting you.