After surgery, many patients find themselves with a restricted range of motion, decreased muscle strength and compromised joint function. Postoperative rehabilitation, commonly referred to as postoperative Occupational Therapy (OT) or Physical Therapy (PT), is the process that restores your range of motion, muscle strength and joint function.
It is not a fast process — unlike surgery, which takes only hours, rehabilitation can take months, possibly even an entire year. But it is a necessary process if you want to return to your everyday life.
In most cases, therapy for larger procedures like total hip or knee replacements will begin three days after your surgery. Smaller surgeries, like tendon or ligament repairs, can take several weeks of recovery before starting therapy.
You should also be aware that in some cases where mobility is a concern, rehabilitation may begin during the recovery process to prevent you from losing permanent mobility in the area. These sessions are always highly monitored and controlled so that only specific muscles, tendons and other body parts are being engaged.
Everyone who has experienced a loss of strength or function from surgery should be enrolled in some kind of rehabilitation program. Whether your procedure was major (like total knee replacement) or something much smaller (like having a broken bone repaired), it is often a good idea to consider a rehabilitation program.
In the more extensive cases, a lengthier program may be required. But smaller fractures and other concerns are also likely candidates for shorter term rehabilitation programs.
For a rehabilitation program to be successful, the patient must be wholly dedicated to the program, arrive for all the appointments and maintain a positive attitude throughout the process. It is OK to struggle and become frustrated, but you should always be thinking about the results you are working toward and how much they will improve your life.
Keeping a positive attitude about your condition has even been shown to increase the likelihood of positive therapy outcomes, according to a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
If you are concerned about postoperative rehabilitation, you can ask your physician about the process. This will give you a clear idea of what to expect, so there is no fear of the unknown as you move forward toward your surgery.
When you arrive at our post-surgery rehabilitation facility, you will meet with a therapist who will provide tailored exercises to achieve improvements in strength and mobility. You will be pushed past your comfort zone because it is the only way to restore what you lost.
The most important reason to go through postoperative rehabilitation is to ensure that you heal correctly. In many situations, your body may decide it is easier to heal a tendon or muscle incorrectly. This is why it is so critical to have a professional oversee the recovery process — to avoid long-term complications.
Therapy is also the quickest way to get back to your normal routine after surgery. Our physicians are able to guide you through the most effective exercises and practices that will catalyze your recovery process.
You can expect a substantial improvement in your mobility and strength after going through a rehabilitation program. Your quality of life will increase with every benchmark you hit, and you will be on your way to getting back to your life the way it was before surgery.
If you are ready to schedule a consultation with one of our medical professionals, give our office a call at 419-424-0131 or fill out our online contact form. We are looking forward to being your partner throughout your therapy process.