By DANNY FLYNN, PT, LAT, DPT, ATC, CSCS
There is a good reason why doctors recommend that you get physical therapy after surgery. After orthopedic surgery, your bones, muscles and soft tissue are also healing. Getting moving soon after surgery is so important to regaining range of motion, strength, flexibility and function. The body may not regain normal motion without specific retraining. A physical therapist specially trained in post-surgical rehabilitation can help you achieve optimal function.
Many patients assume that they will be recovering in bed following surgery. When in fact, those with the best outcomes are often the ones who start a physical therapy treatment program soon after surgery and see the treatment through to completion. After an injury or surgery, scar tissue forms and soft tissue contracts. By starting physical therapy as soon as possible after surgery, you can maintain or improve your mobility which helps your body recover much more quickly than if left to its own devices. Our physical therapists are knowledgeable about your body’s limitations after surgery and can help ensure a successful outcome.
Personalized Attention To Your Recovery
You will work with your physical therapist to determine short and long-term goals to put you on the fastest path to recovery. Our physical therapists work in partnership with your physician, keeping them up to date about your recovery. It’s important to follow your physical therapist’s recommendations and stay positive to promote the best possible results. Physical therapy is about getting you back to doing the things you love – pain free. If you are not at the level you hoped for, your physical therapist will notify your doctor and comprehensively assess the problem areas and appropriately modify your physical therapy treatment to achieve your goals.
Gains Can Still Be Made, Even Years Post Surgery
We often get patients who are not happy with their level of recovery from a surgery that happened a long time ago. This often happens when patients didn’t finish their physical therapy treatment, either by choice or because insurance coverage ran out. If it has been a long time since your surgery, physical therapy can still help you. We often see patients years post-surgery and are able to help them increase functionality and strength. It’s never too late to start!