POST SURGERY REHABILITATION
What is post-surgery rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation is the post-surgical program of re-establishing joint motion, muscle strength around the joint and finally joint function. It can speed your recovery no matter what kind of operation you’ve had.
What is a post-surgery protocol?
Typically, there is an established guideline or protocol for the Physical therapist to follow if you are having a common surgery such as ACL reconstruction or a rotator cuff repair. For patients undergoing orthopedic surgery, the post-operative physical therapy protocol that they follow will be critical to the result that they achieve. Your physical therapist should be familiar with this protocol and be able to adjust your program based on your specific circumstances.
What to expect:
Generally speaking, post-operative physical therapy occurs in three phases. The early recovery phase, the strength and range of motion phase and lastly the functional restoration phase.
Rehabilitation is a progressive activity. This means safely increasing workloads on the repaired tissues during the recovery process. The tissues need to be stimulated in the appropriate manner, as they cannot recover by themselves. This is a very complex process, because we need to let the tissue heal and mature. The right stimulation is protected range of motion and exercise.
The core of rehabilitation is doing the right exercises, at the right time, with the right balance between too little and too much exercise. That balance changes during the weeks and months after surgery. In practice, this means that the intensity of the stimulation increases progressively.
How long will it take?
There are restrictions and timelines specific to your surgery that must be respected to heal properly. For example, patients who have undergone an ACL reconstruction are usually not allowed to run until 12 weeks after surgery, assuming they have reached the expected milestones along the way. Some surgeries require a longer rehabilitation program than others. It is very important that the patient is committed to the whole process.