Post Surgical Rehabilitation

For many illnesses and injuries, surgery is often a necessary solution and, depending on the severity of the illness or injury in question, is almost always nerve-wracking. But physical therapy can actually help the recovery and healing process after a major surgery! This is known as postoperative, or post-surgery, recovery or rehabilitation. There are typically three stages in postoperative rehabilitation.

  • Immediately following surgery, the first stage is when the body is ultimately immobilized as the body goes through a basic healing process. Here, swelling will go down and the initial pain of surgery will subside.
  • Here the work begins! The patient’s physical therapist will work with him or her to design a plan involving progressive exercises that will begin to strengthen the body, restoring the patient’s range of motion and overall stability.
  • With time, the patient will be able to return to their normal, pre-surgery level of physical activity, whatever that may have been for them. This is the ultimate goal of postoperative rehabilitation, and physical therapy as a whole.

Proper Healing & Faster Recovery Time

After a surgery, having a personalized physical therapy plan can help ensure that your body heals properly. Examples of this include minimizing scar tissue, reestablishing joint motion and function, and retraining muscles.

Another benefit is a faster recovery time. For example, a total joint replacement can take a huge toll on the body. But it’s been proven that if one begins physical therapy following such a major surgery – even as early as waking up from the anesthesia! – the patient tends to have both shorter hospital stays and faster recoveries overall.


  • Helps with circulation after surgery, preventing blood clots.
  • Posture, balance, and coordination improvement and training.
  • Gait analysis and training.
  • Self-care training.
  • Home exercise instruction.
  • Reduced risk for postoperative pulmonary complications (PCCs).
  • Pain control and management.
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