5 Benefits of Post-Surgery Physical Therapy

Jan 09, 2024
5 Benefits of Post-Surgery Physical Therapy
If you have a problem that requires orthopedic surgery, there’s a number of things you’ll need to be ready for once the procedure is finished, including physical therapy. Read on to learn the benefits of rehabilitation after surgery.

Your musculoskeletal system is composed of the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and other tissue that support your ability to move your body in a multitude of ways. Every motion you take, from flicking your wrists to running a marathon, requires this structural system. 

When the joints, bones, and other tissue are injured or otherwise damaged, it is the job of orthopedic specialists like us to manage the pain, mend the injured parts of your body, and help you get things back to normal.

If your injury or condition needs surgery, we not only offer a range of treatments but also help you with recovering from the procedures we perform. 

Whether it’s minimally invasive or a more involved surgical process, once it’s over, you’ll still have work to do to get things working the way they used to. This is where physical therapy plays a major role, so let’s examine the benefits of using it post surgery by looking at the basics of orthopedic procedures, the general procedure timeline, and the advantages of using physical therapy to get through it.

If you live in the Fort Worth, Texas area, and you have a condition or injury that needs orthopedic care, Dr. Joseph Daniels and his team at Southwest Orthopedic Associates can help you with treatment and recovery.

Orthopedic surgery basics

There are many types of orthopedic specialists covering a range of different ways to treat musculoskeletal conditions, using both nonsurgical and surgical means. This can be anything from managing arthritis, neck and back pain, overuse injuries, and soft tissue injuries to joint replacement, arthroscopy, and bone grafting. 

Our practice provides both nonsurgical and surgical treatments, including sports medicine, regenerative medicine, joint replacement, urgent care, and physical therapy.

Procedure timeline

The time it takes for you to heal from surgery will vary depending on the extent of damage, the surgery that’s performed, and any other medical issues that may affect the outcome of the procedure itself. Here’s a general timeline for different surgeries:

Minimally invasive treatments

Arthroscopic surgery is a common, minimally invasive procedure that uses an arthroscope (a small, narrow tube with surgical equipment and a fiber-optic camera) to treat injuries, often in an outpatient setting. Time in the recovery room will vary (typically 10-45 minutes), and pain medication is offered if necessary.

Invasive surgical treatments

Surgeries like arthroplasty (total joint replacement) and urgent care procedures need to open damaged areas of bone and tissue to make the necessary repairs, which incurs greater risks and usually takes a longer time. This is especially true if bones or joints are replaced. Hospital stays are often longer and these treatments require more work to fully recover from.

Advantages of physical therapy post surgery

Though the time frame for when physical therapy starts after surgery will vary, getting this form of rehabilitation is vital for recovery. Here are some important reasons why:

1. Improving movement and range of motion

Physical therapy is a key part of improving movement and range of motion in an injured limb or joint. To prevent a repaired part of your body from getting stiff and losing mobility, working on it gradually as you heal keeps it looser and easier to move around.

2. Restoring strength

Both after an event that damages a joint or bone, and after surgical treatment for that injury, that part of your body will be weaker and need to undergo strength training to get things back to normal. Physical therapy covers this and more.

  1. Improving stability

In addition to being weaker, this part of your body is also going to be far less stable, and putting too much pressure on it to perform normal tasks after surgery can make things worse. The slow path of stability training will help to allow full use of this body part with far less risk of reinjuring it.

3. Reducing pain

You’ll be dealing with pain throughout this process. But, the goal of rehabilitation is to reduce the amount of pain your body goes through after surgery and when getting back into regular activities. 

4. Relearning basic activities

If the extent of damage to a body part is severe enough, it may take a while before you can do everything with it you used to. Getting back to normal is a journey, and physical therapy is the path your body needs to reach that goal.

Physical therapy is just one part of the rehabilitation process, but a necessary one to reach full recovery. 

If you’re going to be undergoing surgery or have an injury that needs rehabilitating, make an appointment with Dr. Daniels and his team at Southwest Orthopedic Associates today to plan your physical therapy.