The aim of Post-Operative Physiotherapy is to help you get back to ‘normal’ after you’ve had surgery.
The first stage will often be to build up the muscle tone and strength around the joint before progressing to more involved activities. Physiotherapists can also show you exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.
In the unfortunate event that you do run into difficulty or don’t progress and recover as well as is expected, your physiotherapist can also alert your surgeon.
The ultimate goal of physiotherapy is to help you get back to the same, if not higher, level of activity as you were previously.
Of course, depending on your pre-surgical condition and the surgery that you have had, gaining full use of a joint may not be possible even after surgery. In this case physiotherapy can help you to adapt to this change.
Many patients have tried physiotherapy before surgery as a means to manage their symptoms and condition. For some patients this doesn’t work, for others it delays the need for surgery for a period of time.
The important thing is to approach Physiotherapy with an open mind. Not successfully managing your condition does not mean that post-operative physiotherapy is a ‘waste of time’. Positive thinking goes a long way in what can be a long recovery.
Different procedures require a different number of sessions and sometimes intensity of the physiotherapy given. Whether you need to see a physiotherapist or for how long will depend on your operation, your fitness and the rate in which you recover. The number of sessions that you need can also be affected by how compliant you are with instructions and advice.
Some Key points to Post-operative recovery
- Listen to the advice given to you by your Surgeon – they will tell you if you are to only partially weight bear, or not bend past a certain point. Any special instructions will be relayed to your physiotherapist.
- Listen to your Physiotherapist and follow any advice/instructions they give you. Remember – they are trained in this!! They see numerous patients daily with a varying range of conditions and at varying stages of recovery.
- Listen to your own body – it often has a way of telling you if you are overdoing it.
- Don’t under-do it! Not using a joint at all after surgery can create a whole new set of problems as the joint becomes stiff from lack of use.