The period of time right after orthopedic surgery is the beginning of healing. That’s why this period is practically as important as the surgery itself, because improper or incomplete healing could make the area worse – and surgery may have to be done again.
Whether you had a hip replacement, a tendon repair, or any other kind of major surgery, a post-operative (“after-surgery”) therapy program is necessary for restoring joint movement, strength, and flexibility.
The road to recovery is faster after some types of orthopedic surgeries. While recovery from knee surgery, for example, can take only a few weeks, shoulder and ligament surgeries may take several months for full recuperation.
Physical Therapy After Surgery
Physical therapy is perhaps the most important component of a post-operative program.
A certified physical therapist (PT) is familiar with surgical procedures and how to foster proper, focused healing in each area of the body.
There are four major types of physical therapy after orthopedic surgery, including the following:
Stretching is essential in regaining and maintaining the range of motion in joints and the flexibility of muscles after an operation. Stretching also helps to reduce pain and swelling.
Strengthening exercises help improve muscle function surrounding the surgical area and throughout the entire body. Strengthening your body’s core (midsection) is also key to overall strength and stability while recovering – and to getting yourself moving again.
Range-of Motion Therapy
Range of motion refers to how broadly and fully you can move the affected joint or limb in all of the possible directions in which it should naturally be able to move. Range-of-motion therapy can include:
- Passive routines, which are performed on your body by the therapist guiding your movements
- Routines in which you and the PT both do the hard work
- Active routines, where you perform exercises on your own
Ultrasound and Electrical Therapy
In these types of therapy, high-frequency sound waves and low electrical current perform therapeutic actions on deep tissues. This helps to improve blood flow, re-train the nerves in the area, and maximize the overall results of your surgery.
Benefits of Post-Op Therapy
A post-operative therapy program is not just physical therapy. After orthopedic surgery, a solid post-operative program – developed by you and your doctor and/or therapist – can empower you to:
- Establish your personal plan to reach post-surgery goals.
- Understand your strengths and limitations.
- Reestablish your ability to take showers and use the bathroom.
- Learn techniques to help you handle more complicated tasks, including driving and getting to work or school.
- Follow a personalized diet that will help you through recovery and beyond.
- Understand and manage your medications.
- Learn how to properly use your assistive device, such as a cane or crutches, if applicable.
Physical Therapist in Austin, Texas
Endeavor Physical Therapy quality outpatient physical therapy, hand therapy, and other related post-op and therapeutic services. Our PT team at Endeavor will help energize your recovery, and we’ll provide physical therapy for a wide spectrum of disorders and orthopedic injuries and conditions.
From soft-tissue rehabilitation to joint mobilization and functional exercises, Endeavor is Austin’s first choice for a variety of physical therapy needs. We have a special focus on issues with the arms and hands, and we have certified hand therapists on staff.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling (512) 284-7192, or use our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you recuperate after surgery so you can get back to the lifestyle you enjoy.