After certain surgeries, the first step towards regaining normal function is healing from the trauma caused by the surgery itself. For surgeries where some form of incision was required, medications will be given to manage pain and inflammation. Braces, slings, crutches or casts may also be used to keep a bone or area in a fixed position to heal naturally.
In some cases where strength and motion restoration is needed, physiotherapy rehabilitation would be highly suggested shortly after surgery. This process is known as post-operative or post-surgery recovery/rehabilitation.
What is Post-operative Rehabilitation?
It is a post-surgery exercise that re-establishes joint motion, muscle strength around the joint, and finally, joint function. It is necessary for different surgical procedures including orthopaedic, cardiac, thoracic, neurological, and abdominal surgery.
How Does Post-operative Rehabilitation Work?
The process of rehabilitation can be broken down into the following phases:
Mobilising your injury is crucial in getting your body back to its normal function after surgery. A physiotherapist will help you gain and build your flexibility by stretching and moving the injured area based on your ability and pain tolerance.
To further improve your motion range and reduce pain, soft tissue and joint mobilisation training will be implemented. Various exercises will also be carried out during therapy and at home to help your injury heal effectively without limiting movement.
Muscle weakness is usually noted post-surgery within four to six weeks and can be avoided by rebuilding your strength through physiotherapy. Through a program that focuses on gaining strength and cardiovascular endurance, you would be able to expedite the progression of your regular function. Such programs may include targeted exercises like cycling and hydrotherapy that strengthen your muscles without aggravating your injury.
Restoring Normal Function
After gaining strength and increased motion, the next step towards a regular life is coordination and balance. At this stage, your physiotherapist would design exercise routines that would increase speed and agility. More specific and refined training depending on your normal physical activities will be integrated into these regimes.
Who Needs Post-operative Rehabilitation?
- Anyone who has had surgery and those who are experiencing pain, stiffness, reduced balance and coordination, muscle weakness, reduced mobility, low exercise tolerance, and/or reduced independence will greatly benefit from a rehabilitation program to regain their normal function.
- A physiotherapist will assess your injury and pain tolerance, and design a post-surgery exercise routine that works towards maximising your recovery.
Benefits of Post-operative Rehabilitation
Here are some ways in which physiotherapy rehabilitation can benefit you after surgery:
Reduces Discomfort: -
After surgery, your body will create scar tissues as a natural part of healing. Nevertheless, too much scarring can also interfere with your mobility and healing. Physiotherapy will help lessen the discomfort by promoting movement to limit the formation of scar tissues. It can also help reduce inflammation, which is usually the main contributor to pain after surgery.
Promotes Blood Circulation: -
Good blood circulation is crucial for healing as it brings oxygen and nutrients needed to expedite the healing process. A physiotherapist would design a program that jump-starts the process through exercises and stretches which will improve circulation to the injury.
Improves Mobility: -
Resting and taking it easy after surgery may not be enough for you to regain normal daily functions. Rehabilitation uses exercises, stretches and other therapeutic activities to improve your body’s mobility and stiffness.
Enhances Balance and Coordination: -
The combination of stiffness and swelling can change the way you move, throwing you off balance. A physiotherapist can help you regain your balance and coordination through different sets of functional exercises and programs.
Restoring Strength And Function Through Physiotherapy Rehabilitation
Accelerate your recovery and reclaim a pain-free life with specialised back pain therapy, including targeted post-surgery exercises. These exercises play a crucial role in promoting healing and restoring strength after surgery. By working closely with skilled physiotherapists, you can embark on a tailored exercise program designed to enhance flexibility, improve posture, and rebuild core stability. Embrace these exercises as an essential component of your rehabilitation process and regain your active lifestyle with confidence.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is post-operative rehabilitation?
Post-operative rehabilitation is a rehabilitation process that takes place after surgery. It aims to help people restore optimal mobility and functions in the body.
When should post-operative rehabilitation start?
In some cases, post-operative rehabilitation starts the day after your surgery. The treatment will depend on the type of surgery, your doctor’s instructions as well as individual recovery levels.
How long does post-operative rehabilitation take?
Post-operative rehabilitation can take anywhere between four to six weeks, depending on the severity of the injury and surgery.