Your Path to Positive Outcomes
Many people take for granted that surgery will cure what ails them. However, surgery is often just one step in the path to positive health outcomes. Post-surgery physical therapy is often a vital and important aspect of patient outcomes. The time you spend in surgery sets you on the path to recovery, but the weeks or months in post-surgery physical therapy will keep you on the path to recovery. Without it, you might not gain the full benefit from the surgery.
If you carefully considered who would perform your surgery by finding a surgeon with the skills and bed-side manner that you felt comfortable with, then you should also take some time to find the right physical therapist with whom to work. You’ll be spending considerably more time with a physical therapist than a surgeon. The ultimate outcome of your surgery can be determined by the quality of the relationship you have with your PT.
Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes
When it comes to surgeries to correct injuries or the normal wear-and-tear to the joints over the years, post-surgery physical therapy is essential. Surgery alone isn’t sufficient for complete healing. The body doesn’t automatically heal itself following knee or hip replacement surgery. Furthermore, that injury to your wrist could spell the end of your career in music or it could be a setback you recover from through surgery and proper physical therapy.
You need a trained physical therapist to assist you through post-surgery rehabilitation or you could end up where you started—in chronic pain. Post-surgery patients often come in two varieties: the athletes who push too hard and the timid that don’t push hard enough. Ironically, both can end up re-injuring themselves. A good physical therapist will pace your recovery, pushing you enough but not too much.
The time to be thinking about and planning your physical therapy after surgery is before you have the surgery. Ideally, you can visit your physical therapist before your surgery so they can assess your pre-surgery condition and have a clearer understanding of the physical condition you hope to achieve from physical therapy post-surgery.
The benefits of post-surgery physical therapy
Loss is quick and recovery is slow when it comes to our health in general, and muscle tone in particular. We all know it, and it isn’t fair. With the help of a physical therapist, however, you can regain your former condition one step at a time. The benefits are many:
- Heal properly. When you don’t give your body the proper time to heal, you won’t heal properly. When you do things you were told not to do, you can re-injure yourself. You need to balance your recovery with rest and rehabilitation. Do yourself a favor and follow the advice of your surgeon and your physical therapist.
- Recover more quickly. Every patient wants to get back to normal. Physical therapists want that for you, too. However, patients need to be a bit “patient” in the process. Rushing the process of healing can be counter-productive and can actually set you back. So take it one slow step at a time and you will recover more quickly.
- Prevent blood clots. Extended bed rest can lead to blood clots following surgery. To avoid this, you need to move to improve your circulation. However, the wrong movements can lead to re-injury. What are you to do? Follow the advice of your physical therapist!
- Reduce pain and swelling. You might feel reluctant to move around much following surgery, but movement can reduce pain and swelling. Post-surgery physical therapy will get you moving safely. You’ll avoid the stiffness that results from too little activity. As you begin to feel better, you’ll be able to do a little more each day.
- Improve strength, flexibility, and range-of-motion. Left to your own devices, could you really design a comprehensive post-surgery rehabilitation regimen? Probably not. The right combination, sequence, and intensity of exercises are more complicated than picking one exercise from each category.
If you had knee surgery, for example, trying to walk unassisted too soon can lead to a limp. Your goal should be to restore your knee joint to full extension. That means you are able to bend and straighten the knee you had surgery on to match your other knee. When the two don’t match, you end up with a limp, which aggravates the joint.
Trust your physical therapist to help you.
One Step at a Time
We don’t subscribe to the adage, “No pain no gain.” Pain can indicate that you’re doing too much too soon or that you’re doing something incorrectly. Our goal is “gain without pain.”
- The first step: in the hospital. Believe it or not, just sitting up in bed following surgery is your first step in post-surgery physical therapy! Next you’ll stand. Then you’ll take a few steps with assistance.
- The next step: at home. As you rebuild your strength, your physical therapist will introduce you to exercises appropriate for your current condition. Your PT might come to your house to work with you. You’ll be exercising and moving on your own between visits with your therapist’s guidance.
- The final step: at the physical therapy center. A rehabilitation center gives you access to equipment vital to your full recovery. Your physical therapist will continue to work with you there, making sure that you are making steady progress. Your PT will prescribe exercises in increasing intensity and in the proper balance of aerobic conditioning, muscle building, flexibility and range-of-motion.
Post-surgery physical therapy increases your chances of a positive outcome.
Match Made in Heaven
When it comes to fairy tales, a princess has to kiss a lot of frogs before she finds her prince. We suggest a different tactic when you’re searching for a physical therapist. We invite you to get acquainted with Midland Physical Therapy before you have your surgery. There are no frogs here!
Here’s what you can expect from a physical therapist here at Midland Physical Therapy:
- We will ideally assess your pre-operative condition.
- We will work with your surgeon so your recovery is as seamless as possible.
- We will take into account your age and the type of surgery you are recovering from.
- We will tailor your post-surgery physical therapy just for you.
When it comes to finding a match for your post-surgery physical therapy, you want to get it right on the first date. We’re confident that you’ll meet your match here!
Happily Ever After
Now that you know the importance of post-surgery rehabilitation, it’s time to take the next step. Give the staff at Midland Physical Therapy a call. We have expertise in providing a comprehensive post-surgery physical therapy regimen specifically tailored for your unique needs.
We are committed to restoring you to as high a quality of life as possible following surgery. We want you to feel as good as new. That’s an outcome we can all feel happy with. Contact us today so we can optimize your post-surgery recovery.