Having Surgery? Had Surgery?
Physical Therapy Can Help You!
You had the all important surgery, Now What? Do you, like many others, have many questions and no one is giving you answers?
Is your pain gone? Do you have your full range of motion? All of your strength? Are you back to your ‘new normal’?
How do you get to your goal? What do you need to maximize your success after the surgery and prevent a failure? What’s next?
You have heard about rehabilitation / physical therapy. Do you need physical therapy? Home health physical therapy?
Unfortunately, we hear this all too often.
Well if you have landed here and read this far – please don’t stop. This informative post will hopefully give you most, if not all, the answers you are looking for to quiet your mind. After you finish reading this post and should you have any questions, please contact us.
Surgery is Unnatural, You May Need Help
Doesn’t make a difference whether you had knee, hip, back, neck, shoulder or etc surgery. Surgery is Unnatural. The idea of the body being opened and exposed to the outside world is a bad idea to begin with. Doesn’t mean surgery isn’t necessary. It’s just unnatural.
And let’s tackle the elephant in the room. Many, if not most, are surprised when surgery doesn’t go as planned. So with my 30 years of being in medicine, I have created and explained this conundrum with a description and it goes a little like this:
You are Imperfect
Your surgeon(s) are Imperfect
The surgical technique is Imperfect
If you receive a device/implant, it is Imperfect
Yet most assume that they will come out of the surgery in little to no pain and just like new again? That’s a perfectly flawed logic.
But, there is an answer.
Just like when a carpenter replaces the hinge on a door, just because it was replaced, doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do. This is where post-surgical care comes in.
Before we dive into post-surgical care, let’s look at how to set yourself up for success before your surgery.
What Questions Should You Ask Before Surgery That Will Help You Afterwards?
Before battle, you should always have a plan in order to succeed. Probably spoken by Someone Famous
Before surgery, you should have a game plan. Did you not go to considerable effort to pick the right surgeon for you and your surgery? If you aren’t retired, who will cover you at work? How about covering your volunteer activities while you recover?
Well there are a few questions that you should get answers to before having surgery:
What are common the most common complications you see after this surgery?
What is the best way to resolve said complications?
How do I minimize pain?
How do I maximize my chance of this surgery being a success?
Is there a specific rehabilitation program that you want me to follow? Can I get a copy of it now?
If there’s a complication during business hours, who should I contact and what is their phone number?
If there’s a complication after business hours, who should I contact and what is their phone number?
Those are a few questions that I have asked prior to my surgery to maximize my success. Asking and knowing beforehand helped me formulate a game-plan that was in alignment with my surgeon, his team, my surgery, and my care team. It took a significant amount of anxiety off my brain. One last thing to think and possibly worry about.
So that’s all?
No, but wait there’s more!
How Physical Therapy Can Help You Before Surgery
Prior to surgery, the best thing you can do is Pre-Op Physical Therapy. Plain and simple.
As we tell our patients who call and embark on a Pre-Op Physical Therapy program with us, it is significantly beneficial for many reasons.
One, it allows the therapy team to get pre-surgical baseline values. This is very helpful to know where you were prior to surgery in regard to specific range-of-motion, flexibility, strength, limb circumference, functional movement patterns to name a few.
Two, it allows the pre-surgical patient to fully understand what happens after surgery. For instance: what is the timeline for healing; how will therapy progress; what treatments will be performed; and a basic outline for achieving certain milestones to return to full function.
Three, it allows a healthier movement pattern to be explained, reviewed, and attempted to be corrected prior to the trauma of post-surgery.
Finally, it allows the body to become stronger, more mobile, and more resilient before the surgery takes place. More often than not, this allows for a faster recovery post-surgical. It’s like getting you running again before being forced to a walk after the surgery but significantly better than walking and being forced to a crawl. Any and all progress will pay off in the long run.
These are not an exhaustive list but the most common reasons for someone for a pre-surgical patient to embark on Pre-Op Physical Therapy. If this program is of interest to you, please reach out to us via phone at 757-564-7381 (operators are standing by) or click here to email us.
If you want to learn more, click right below:
Physical Therapy Can Help With Post-Surgery Complications
Unbeknownst to many people, physical therapy can help immediately post-surgical. People almost present with the following complications whether they state or acknowledge them or not.
First, often a post-surgery complication is swelling or edema. This accumulation of fluid hinders progress because it limits fluid transport, motion & mobility and strength to name a few things. Want to get back up and moving? Get the fluid out, with the help of a physical therapist.
Secondly, as we say in the clinic – ‘motion is lotion’. Joint & body motion is critical. Specific & global body movement is paramount to restoring and maintaining normal body functions and actions. You definitely need the majority of your motion & movement before we tackle the next hurdle – strength.
Finally, the most obvious complication resulting from surgery that we see in physical therapy is strength. We even see it years later. Research shows that as little as 3-5 days of bedrest following surgery, there are the beginnings of significant muscle atrophy (the decrease in muscle size and strength).
Physical Therapy can help prevent or lessen this complication – especially if you are aware about it.
Don’t put off getting physical therapy post surgery. It can prevent that little bump in the road complication into a challenging mountain.
Best Physical Therapy Exercises Following Surgery
This is plain and simple. Follow what your surgeon and their medical team tells you in combination with the instructions that your physical therapy team provides you. Your surgeon and physical therapy team want only the best for you and for you to succeed.
If you happily reach your goal, everyone wins!
Stick to this and you will maximize your chances of having a successful & positive surgical outcome.
Wrap Up – Physical Therapy Help After (And Before) Surgery
While surgery can sometimes be a common occurrence in today’s environment, each and every surgery is unique as well as the path to full recovery and return to life’s daily activities.
A few points need to be reviewed
✔︎ Make sure you understand what is to be expected after surgery and what is normal and abnormal. You should know who and how to contact someone in case of an abnormal occurrence.
✔︎ Make sure you have a full understanding what you should do before and after surgery.
✔︎ The best exercises are what you and your physical therapist provide you with when you meet with them. Just because it is out there on social media or a close friend told you about this ‘cool’ exercise/movement, doesn’t mean it is right for you.
✔︎ Don’t try to recover faster than anyone else that you know. Nothing good comes of it. Sometimes healing is stunted, or worse, we have seen surgeries fail because of individuals pushing the recovery. I wrote a true story about it. If you would like to read about it, click HERE.
✔︎ Finally & most importantly, go slow, give your body time to recover & heal, and be kind to yourself.
We Have The Post-Surgical Physical Therapy Help You Need
Our mission at PEAK Physical Therapy is to make people better! Actually, ‘more better’! We treat individuals, just like you, who are about to have surgery, who recently had surgery, or had surgery years ago and have yet to achieve your goals. You don’t have to suffer.
Whether you need help with a diagnosis, functional medical advice, or want a second, third or more functional medical opinion, remember we are always here to help you.
Don’t delay, appointments times are limited.
If you want to live an Active, Independent, Dynamic, & Enjoyable Life – Choose Physical Therapy. And, If You Need Physical Therapy and You Want Your Health To Last…Choose PEAK PT FIRST!™
Until We Chat Again…
Be & Stay Well!
Sasha Digges PT, ATC, CSCS
Senior PhysioTherapist & Clinical Director
We’re here to help you, either Pre-Operative or Post-Surgical…
If you’re in pain and would like to talk to us about getting some pain relief help, an evaluation, or if you are looking for physical therapy treatment, remember we are always here to help you.
If you would like to speak with a Physical Therapist, schedule a Meet & Greet or a physical therapy evaluation, please click here to complete our contact us form or CALL us at 757-564-7381.
PEAK Physical Therapy – Where Hope, Help, & Healing Lives Within Medicine!™