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.