Post-surgical rehabilitation can be a long process. After surgery, the rehabilitation period can take many months and even up to a year in some cases. It’s important for postoperative patients to realize this. Whether it’s knee surgery, shoulder surgery or another type of surgery, the recovery period will take time. The actual timeframe for recovery depends on many factors. Post-surgical rehabilitation is a progressive activity. Tissues need to be stimulated, as they cannot recover on their own. Recovery is a complex process, since tissue must also mature. The core of post-surgical rehabilitation is doing the right exercises and the right amount of exercises. The intensity of the stimulation should increase gradually and progressively.

The Benefits of Physical Therapy After Surgery
Most doctors and other medical professionals recommend physical therapy after having an operation because of its many benefits. The benefits of physical therapy post-op include:

  • Promotion of healing
  • Regain mobility
  • Faster recovery
  • Address postoperative pain
  • Reduce scar tissue formation
  • Improve performance and function

It is important for the body to heal after an operation. With a physical therapist, patients can have a treatment plan designed specifically for their type of surgery. Surgeons diagnose and fix injuries; physical therapists specialize in helping patients move again and restoring their normal way of life after surgery.
Surgeries in the lower extremities, especially the hips and knees, require physical therapy to regain mobility and flexibility. Physical therapy helps those injured return to their regular activities and daily tasks. Daily activities, such as walking and gardening, are possible again. Our physical therapists understand the different stages of healing and know how to develop a treatment plan that speeds up recovery, so patients can return to their active lifestyle.

When developing a treatment plan, our physical therapists always take into account pre-op fitness state and post-op goals. They assess muscles and joints above and below the surgery site. Getting physical therapy services after surgery allows patients to be actively engaged in recovery. It’s a collaborative relationship. Patients give physical therapists continual feedback about their progress and have a lot of input. Physical therapists develop specific exercise plans for each patient. Patients will be given home exercises to continue their progression at home. As patients progress in their specific plan with the physical therapist, their home exercises will progress as well. . The physical therapist may also provide passive treatments such as electrical muscle stimulation, massage, myofascial release, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, dry needling, cold laser and heat or ice therapy. The first phase of rehabilitation comes immediately after surgery when the body part may be immobilized to provide stability to the joint allowing you to move around safely. This immobilization will also help reduce your pain. During this phase, the focus of physical therapy will be on pain management and early efforts of retraining your muscles and joint for movement as appropriate. After your pain and swelling decreases then comes a series of progressive exercises to improve range of motion, stability, and function. The last goal is to return the patient to a pre-injury activity level.

Physical therapy after surgery puts patients on a faster track to recovery. Why let recovery take longer? Take advantage of our physical therapy services if you’ve had surgery. Call Arlington Physical Therapy today and get started on the road to recovery.