So you have decided on a joint related surgical procedure. Great!
- What are the things to do?
- Will you be able to go back to work or play?
- How long is it going to take?
- What should be avoided and what should be recommended?
Let this post and our physiotherapist help you with your concerns!
Our physiotherapist is experienced in the management and rehabilitation of a wide range of surgical cases, including but not limited to:
- Joint Replacements – knee, hip, ankle and shoulder
- Arthroscopies – knee, hip, ankle, shoulder and other joints
- Ligament and tendon reconstructions including Rotator Cuff Repairs, ACL/MCL/LCL/AFTL reconstructions
- Tibial Tubercle Transfers i.e. TTT
- Joint fusions – Ankle, foot
- Spinal Surgery – Including fusions, laminectomy and discectomy
- Fracture Management, and many more!
Post Op Rehabilitation (After
Your rehabilitation will be individualized depending on the procedure performed, your specialist’s protocols and your personal rehabilitation goals – be it to return sport, work or to pain free daily activities.
Appropriate post-op rehabilitation is crucial in achieving optimum outcome and minimising the risk of complications. Your rehabilitation at Core Medical and Physiotherapy will include a combination of manual therapy (such as mobilisations and massage), exercise rehabilitation (home exercise programs and gym based rehabilitation), education, advice on self-management and walking re-education if appropriate.
Post op rehabilitation commences in hospital the day after your surgery under guidance of a physiotherapist and continues even after you are discharged home. Ultimately how much benefit you gain from your surgical procedure is up to you! A structured exercise program will improve mobility and strength around the joint as it heals. Swelling and scar tissue could prevent full range of movement resulting in decreased mobility. Post op exercise not only restores movement in the joint, but also decreases pain and improves muscular strength. Which equates to early return to work/sport!
While the need for rehabilitation following surgery is well recorded, the importance of exercising before surgery is often overlooked. Due to the months of pain and reduced activity leading up to surgery, muscles weaken, walking, balance and fitness deteriorate. It is recommended that you perform a program of land and / or water based strengthening, flexibility and general fitness exercises for 30 to 60 minutes, three times a week for at least six weeks prior to joint surgery.
Studies have shown reduced pain and increased physical function following surgery in patients who had performed an exercise program prior to surgery compared with those who had not. A six week exercise program can increase muscle strength by 20%, reducing the chance of extended inpatient rehabilitation prior to discharge after surgery by 73%.
In another study, the effect of completing a 6 week exercise protocol consisting of strengthening exercises of the lower limbs, prior to hip and knee replacement surgery was explored.
The major outcomes of that study were that by participating in pre-surgery exercise, patients were more likely to be discharged from hospital to home, rather than to a rehabilitation hospital. Post joint-replacement patients were more likely to independently ambulate greater than 50 feet at the point of discharge.
So what where do you fit in all this?
Simply put, if you are experiencing arthritic symptoms, such as pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joint and your doctor has indicated that you may be in need a joint replacement in the future; there may be some benefit in participating in “pre- operative rehabilitation” before your surgery. By commencing a strengthening exercise program, you are likely to return to back to 100% quicker than if you do nothing pre-surgery.
Other benefits of a pre op exercise program include:
- Improved Balance – Reduced risk of falls.
- Weight Loss – Reduces stresses on your new joint
All this leads to a better outcome and reduced recovery time following your surgical procedure. For more information, contact us at Core Medical & Physiotherapy at 6500 1510