• Ian Roscoe | A.P.A Physiotherapist

POST-OPERATIVE PHYSIOTHERAPY: AVOIDING SETBACKS

If you experienced problems significant enough to require surgery, you will definitely need post-operative physiotherapy and rehabilitation to regain your range of motion, strength and function.

 


Treatment Cycle


Physiotherapy treatment for post-operative rehab involves:

  1. Assessing and measuring the area to gauge progress,

  2. Explaining and demonstrating the surgeon's protocol exercises, and

  3. Managing pain and swelling.


Some post-op programs only take 6-12 weeks but most take 3-6 months of physiotherapy supervision. A further 3-6 month of graded strengthening and functional activities is usually required to reach an excellent result.


Progress reports are regularly sent to your surgeon and G.P detailing your progress and treatment.


 

Common Setbacks


Patients can hit many "potholes" during the recovery process by:

  • Not doing their exercises accurately (or at all!),

  • Over-doing their exercise program through enthusiasm,

  • Discarding the sling or brace too soon, or

  • Starting resistance exercises or loaded activities too soon.

The worst set-back (tearing the tendon graft or ligament reconstruction) is often related to these latter 2 points.


 
Following the surgeon's protocol carefully is one of the most important steps in avoiding setbacks and complications associated with post-op rehab.

 


Final Thoughts


Physiotherapy is a necessary part of post-operative rehabilitation in order for you to recover strength, range of motion and function. Following your surgeons protocol in consultation with your physiotherapist and G.P is the best way to prevent set-backs.


If you are experiencing complications, see your physiotherapist who will help you get back on track!

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