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Post Surgery

Patient using cane after surgery

Pre-Surgery and Post-Surgery Rehabilitation

For many illnesses and injuries, surgery is often a necessary solution. Depending on the severity of the illness or injury, the surgery recovery process can vary from discomfort to debilitating without proper rehabilitation. No matter what your recovery plan looks like, the process is almost always nerve-wracking and not something that most people look forward to. At Optimal Therapy we think that post-surgery rehabilitation should be well planned and tailored for each patient. Physical therapy has many applications in the recovery and healing process after a major surgery! This is known as postoperative, or post-surgery, recovery or rehabilitation. When we create a post-surgery rehabilitation plan for a patient, we like to break the process down into three stages with each stage focused on a specific goal and milestones of your postoperative recovery. The stages we consider in our postoperative rehabilitation programs are:

Stage 1: Healing

Healing begins immediately following surgery and is the first stage of any post-surgery recovery. Depending on the surgery you have experienced, there can be many side effects from the surgery including immobility, damaged muscles, extensive swelling and bruising just to name a few. As our body’s natural healing process begins, swelling will start to go down and the initial pain from the surgery will subside.

Stage 2: Rehabilitation

After your body has had some time to heal, the real work begins! At Optimal Therapy our physical therapists will work with you to designed a specific post-surgery recovery plan with your body and goals in mind. During rehabilitation we focus on strengthening your body through utilizing progressive exercises that will help restore your range of motion and improve your overall stability after a recent surgery.

Stage 3: Restoration

As a patient progresses through an Optimal Therapy post-surgery recovery plan, they will reach a point with time that they are able to return to normal, pre-surgery levels of activity. This level of physical activity can look different for everyone and is why we feel that it is so crucial to design a plan around a specific patients needs. Helping our patients achieve the same level of activity is the ultimate goal of postoperative rehabilitation, and physical therapy as a whole.

Physical Therapy Patient Post-Surgery

There are several benefits to going through postoperative rehabilitation with a physical therapist at Optimal Therapy including:

  • Proper healing and faster recovery time.
  • Regain mobility
  • Patient participation, setting goals, and meeting functional needs.
  • Helps with circulation after surgery, preventing blood clots.
  • Posture, balance, and coordination improvement and training.
  • Gait analysis and training.
  • Self-care training.
  • Manual therapy techniques.
  • Home exercise instruction.
  • Pain control and management.
  • Improves flexibility.
  • Reduced risk for postoperative pulmonary complications (PCCs)

Many times a surgery can leave you feeling debilitated and can lead to long stretches at home where patients lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle. This is one of the worst things for your post-surgery recovery and is not good for a patients mental well being either. Physical therapy after surgery not only helps you physical recovery, but also helps to get you out of the house, back into the world, and being social again.

Did you know?

Pre-Operative physical therapy can save you time and medical expenses.

Research has shown that attending as little as one pre-operative physical therapy session can help reduce the amount of post-operative care and lead to faster and more efficient recoveries. For example, it’s been found that back surgery patients who have undergone physical therapy have actually had a quicker recovery time than those who hadn’t gone through postoperative rehabilitation.

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