Post-surgical Rehab

Post-surgical rehabilitation is one of the best ways to ensure a positive outcome after surgery. Working with a physiotherapist can help you regain your mobility, improve your strength and flexibility and help you recover more completely after your procedure.

What is Post-Surgical Rehab?

Any time a surgeon operates, there is trauma to the skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and in some cases bones of your body. As a result, your immune system begins to work on repairing any damage that has happened. If you simply have surgery and ignore the area, this process can result in painful scar tissue build up that limits your strength and ability to move the affected area.

Post-surgical rehab helps your body heal the correct way and minimize scar tissue build-up. This makes it less painful and faster to recover. 

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Types of Treatments

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists are movement experts. We can provide treatment and share strategies for you to recover quickly and effectively. The sooner you get started after your surgery, the better your chances are of improving quickly. If you wait until scar tissue has built up, it will be more painful and will take longer to get you back on track.

Exercises

When choosing exercises to help you recover from a surgery, you want to make sure that you pick the right ones. Some people might have restrictions from the surgeon which need to be respected for the surgery to heal properly. 

A physiotherapist can help you identify what type of exercise is safe to do and which ones will be most beneficial to you, based on the type of surgery you had. They can communicate directly with your surgeon to obtain important information about restriction to help guide along your way to recovery.

The type of exercise that you do is important. Your brain is most likely to remember how to move well if you practice during activities that are meaningful to you. We want to make the changes permanent, so we use activities that you enjoy in the clinic, and in your Home Exercise Program.

Frequency

In order to help you recover quickly, it is important to practice your exercises correctly, and often. For this reason, we often recommend to have 1-2 visits per week, so that we can get you back to your normal life as quickly as possible!

Duration

The length of treatment has two components. First, the type of session, and second, the total length of the treatment plan.

There are two types of sessions to choose from: regular treatment and complex treatment. Most people who have had surgery benefit from regular treatment sessions, that focus on only one problem. If you had a complicated surgery, or multiple surgeries, sometimes a complex treatment session is beneficial to address more than one thing at once.

For your first treatment plan, we often suggest a duration of 4 weeks. This allows us to see how you progress and how you are doing with your Home Exercise Program. After these 4 weeks, you may choose to continue on your own, or to continue for another treatment plan, which can be for up to 12 weeks.

The duration of your treatment will be discussed with your physiotherapist on the day of your initial assessment. Depending on what the findings are, and what your goals are, you will talk about what type of treatment session is most appropriate and how many weeks you should start with. 

Exercise is Important!

What to expect from your specialist (and what not to):

When you are told that you need surgery, you might not know what to expect after the surgery is done. The topic of exercise has likely come up, but it might not be clear whether exercise is good or bad. You've likely had a conversation about pain medication.

Here's some information that your physician won't discuss with you:  Exercise can help reduce pain. Any type of exercise will help to increase your blood flow and oxygen levels. This will help your tissues to heal, and reduce any stiffness that may be causing you some discomfort.

Exercise is very important to help your tissues heal correctly and get your back to a normal level of function. You can do this on your own, or with the help of a physiotherapist. The important thing is that you keep yourself active as much as possible until you feel like you are back to normal.

Last Modified September 2019