Post Op Rehab
Post Op Rehab - Tailored Physical Rehabilitation Program Overview
Post-operative therapy will focus on muscle strength, joint mobility, and range of motion thereby allowing the patient to achieve full recovery and return to function as soon as possible.
With this in mind, we offer post-operative rehabilitation that uses several modalities and treatments to not only speed up your recovery, but to rebuild your strength and flexibility in the process.
Common post-operative conditions include but not limited to: total joint replacement, rotator cuff repair, fracture with fixation, ACL reconstruction, and joint arthroscopy.
Why is post-op rehab important? What are the benefits of post op rehab?
Often, injuries occur because of a muscular imbalance or a general lack of health and fitness. These injuries, while often treated non-surgically, may require more invasive surgical treatments.
While the surgery itself may be extremely important, it is the time following your operation that will truly determine how completely your body heals.
Rehabilitation is an important part of helping patients get the most possible benefit from their surgery. Essentially, rehabilitation (physical therapy, exercise) can help patients recover from surgery as quickly and completely as possible.
What exactly can PFC Medical provide you during post-op rehab that will aid in your recovery from spine surgery?
POST-OP PAIN CONTROL
Controlling pain is an important first step in allowing patients to regain their strength, as it is very difficult to complete a rehabilitation program if one is in a great deal of pain.
While a certain amount of pain is common in the recovery process, there are several means that a physical therapy may used to help minimize pain.
Many of the techniques for back pain relief are simple and easy to learn and can be done at home or at work throughout the day.
Your PFC Medical team will also provide information and education to improve your overall health and recovery after spine surgery through lifestyle changes, such as drinking enough water throughout the day and finding a comfortable sleeping position.
ONE-ON-ONE TRAINING AFTER SURGERY
The therapist will typically develop a training program tailored for the patient, taking into account the patient’s specific surgery, body type, and tissue conditions. Physical therapists are trained to be sure to select movements that can be done safely around the spine surgery.
Therapists focus on muscle facilitation with areas where the muscles may need special retraining to gain strength and provide stability following the back surgery. This type of exercise therapy may focus on:
• Muscles in the incision area
• Muscles that may have been weakened by nerve problems before the surgery
• Small muscles that work around each vertebra and help stabilize the spine.
Most people (even those without spine problems) do not use these muscles very often. However, if these small muscles are trained properly, they can provide excellent stabilization that can protect the spine and protect the newly operated area to prevent future problems.
Individualized physical therapy may also help with areas where the patient’s mobility and flexibility has been limited by surgery.
Many spine patients have problems with restrictions in their hips or shoulders or other areas of the spine. In these cases, the therapist can help the joints and the muscles involved regain the movement in relation to an individual’s body type and physical activities, and will work in the best way with the newly operated spine.
EXERCISE & EDUCATION FOR RECOVERY
Patients often wonder if and when they can return to certain activities after spine surgery. A lot of that depends on how they respond to exercise and can prepare the muscles to protect the spine during that activity. The PFC Medical team understands how to make the most of a post-op rehab program, as our provider will have the opportunity to observe the patient’s movement and force tolerances over time.
Exercise is vital to getting better after spine surgery. It is the key to eliminating fatigue, getting patients back to activity safely, and avoiding re-injury. Ultimately, exercise is critical both in helping the body heal from the original injury and in preventing (or minimizing) future episodes of back pain.
A physical therapist develops an individually tailored exercise program based on knowledge of the exact type of spine surgery, and the forces that are most beneficial for the patient’s spine under different conditions. Patients will typically learn the exercises with the physical therapist and then do them on their own at home.
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
With one-on-one physical therapy sessions, patients have plenty of opportunity to ask questions of the therapist. Therapists can explain exactly what changes have occurred as a result of the patient’s specific surgery, and what can be done to maximize the benefits from that surgery.
Many patients ask the same types of questions about back surgery, so the therapist will usually have enough knowledge to be able to answer most questions right away. Often, if the therapist doesn’t know the answer to a question, he or she can speak with a spine surgeon to get the answer. We encourage our patients to ask as many questions as possible.
Any patient’s success in recovery from spine surgery depends on his or her willingness to work hard at home as well as with the therapist. Ideally, the surgery will take the patient a great deal of the way on the road to recovery, and then the patient and our PFC Medical team can work together to make the recovery the best possible.