What is Post-operative Rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation is the post-surgical method for re-establishing joint motion, muscle strength around the joint and lastly joint function. This is very important to understand that rehabilitation is a long term process. While the surgery is performed within few hours, the rehabilitation takes many months, sometimes up to a year. This difference between the length of the surgery and the time needed for rehabilitation is huge, and patients should have that clearly in mind.

When a patient undergoes cartilage surgery of the knee, ankle or shoulder, for example, by whatever method, they must be aware that they need a long recovery period.

It is therefore very important that the patient is committed to the whole process. However, it should also be borne in mind the timeframe of one year for recovery is an example of the amount of time required compared to the hours of the surgery. The actual timeframe required depends on a large number of factors.

Another important point is that rehabilitation is a progressive activity. In this context, ‘progression’ means safely and gradually increasing workloads and stimuli on the repaired joint during the recovery process.

The third point here is that the tissues need to be stimulated, as they cannot recover by themselves.

It is really important to properly stimulate the limb and joint after the cartilage surgery. This is, biologically, a very complex process, because we need to maturethe tissue. The process could be likened to baking bread. You have to wait for the dough to prove (rise) before you can put it in the oven. It is the same with the cartilage – one must wait for some time to help the biological process, and that process needs stimulation. The right stimulation is protected range of motion and exercise.

Consequently, core of the rehabilitation is doing the right exercises at the right time, with the right balance between not enough and too much exercise. So, neither complete rest nor sporting activities is actually advisable in this phase of rehabilitation. Something in the middle is what required. That balance changes during the weeks and months after surgery. What this means in practice is that the intensity of the stimulation increases progressively.


Post-Operative Rehabilitation at SOS PHYSIO

Physical therapy is typically indicated following an orthopedic surgery such as operations on the knee, hip, hand, ankle, shoulder, wrist, neck, foot & spine to facilitate a speedy recovery. Physical therapy can be started from a few hours to a few days after surgery and in some cases there may be a period of immobilization following surgery. Physical therapists at SOS PHYSIO are specifically trained to restore range of motion and strength without compensation and to prevent re-injury during the recovery process.

There are many physical therapy treatments such as Manual therapy & Active Release Techniques (ART) are found to be very effective in treating this type of disorder.
For more information- Contact your local SOS PHYSIO clinic.


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