Have you recently had surgery or were told you needed it? There are many questions that follow learning you need surgery including, what happens next? You may have even been told you will need post-surgical rehabilitation. But, what exactly is that? Let’s find out.
The primary reason anyone undergoes surgery is to improve his or her quality of life. As with any surgery, there is a period of time when the area that was worked on needs to be protected whether via cast, sling, crutches, a splint, etc. Unfortunately, this period of protection can cause the surrounding muscles to weaken and the surrounding joints to stiffen.
The goal of post-surgical rehabilitation is to return you back to your level of physical function prior to your surgery. This includes returning to work, school, or even sports. Therapists work one-on-one to provide a personalized plan while monitoring your progress and advancing you according to your response. Throughout rehabilitation, regular communication is maintained with your surgeon to ensure your progress matches the rate of healing so recovery is optimal.
Participation is critical. Unfortunately, many patients underestimate the importance of post-surgical rehabilitation. By not participating, patients may develop permanently stiff joints and may not be able to return to their daily activities or sports. In fact, stiffened joints are the top post-operative complication following a surgery.
The general rule of thumb for rehabilitation is, for every one week you’re immobilized, whether its with a splint, cast, etc., you need two weeks of rehabilitation. Of course each patient is different so this can vary. During your first visit, your therapist will work with you to establish goals and review any post-surgical precautions you may have. You may also be prescribed a home based program so you can continue to progress outside of therapy.
No matter what kind of surgery you had, joint replacement, spinal surgery or even brain surgery, post-surgical rehabilitation is essential. Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine understands the importance of getting you back to work, school, or back in the game. Contact us for an appointment to learn more about how we can help.