Unfortunately, the success of your orthopaedic surgery will not immediately appear after leaving the operating theatre. A skilfully conducted surgical procedure is but the first step towards a full recovery.
Physiotherapy is a crucial part of the recovery process and can be the difference between achieving normal functionality and an unsuccessful surgery. As trained professionals, physiotherapists can develop a specific program for your surgery, resulting in a quicker recovery and a significantly lower chance of requiring follow up surgery.
What Kind of Surgeries Require Physiotherapy?
Orthopaedic surgery often involves repairing tears in tendons and ligaments, stabilising broken bones, and replacing ruptured ligaments. High velocity sports, physically strenuous work and accidental falls are common causes of such injuries.
Common surgeries requiring physiotherapy include:
- ACL reconstruction
- Meniscal repair
- Rotator cuff repair
- Tennis elbow release
- Achilles tendon repairs
- Intervertebral lumbar fusion
- Lateral ligament reconstruction
- Knee/hip replacement
- Knee/hip arthroscopy
Physiotherapists assess your function following the initial post-operative review with the surgeon. This may involve looking at pain, swelling, motion review and an assessment of balance and mobility. The type and length of rehabilitative care will depend on these assessments and the kind of surgery completed.
Benefits of Rehabilitative Physiotherapy
It’s common for patients to experience difficulty maintaining function and mobility before and after a surgical procedure. Post-operative rehabilitation and pre-surgical physiotherapy can help streamline the recovery process, improve quality of life and functional outcomes.
Physiotherapy aids the recovery process by:
- Relieving pain
- Restoring optimal strength, flexibility and range of motion
- Aiding you return to previously limited activities
- Enhancing stamina and endurance
- Improving cardiovascular fitness
- Teaching patients how to manage long-term recovery
We prioritise progression and patient specific goals, formulating a program to best suit your needs. This program will most likely feature an individualised program of physiotherapy exercises, and may also include other hands-on techniques such as massage, stretching, joint mobilisation, dry needling and taping.
Example of Rehabilitative Physiotherapy Program
The rehabilitation program after an ACL reconstruction will depend on the extent of the injury and pain. It will often involve a knee brace and mobility aids with a period of weight bearing restriction.
ACL reconstruction involves surgically reconstructing the ligament in the centre of your knee using either the hamstring or patellar tendon to replace the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
We will offer comprehensive education and instruction on posturing, restrictions and carrying out day-to-day activities to manage pain and swelling. Stretches and manual therapy like soft tissue massage and joint mobilisation will be conducted as appropriate along with Pilates and recommended exercises to help achieve a full range of extension and movement.
Exercises may include:
- Knee range of movement exercises
- Closed kinetic chain quadriceps exercises
- Open kinetic chain hamstring exercises
- Stationary cycling
- Thoracic rotation exercises
Patients can usually return to work within 2-4 weeks if their employment is sedentary. Within 6 weeks the patient can start bike riding and start running at the 3-4 month mark. It may take 9-12 months before they can return to their chosen sport.
Rehabilitation with Star Physio
If you’ve had or are about to have surgery and need rehab in Perth, make an appointment with Star Physio. To ensure you make satisfactory progress in your recovery, it’s crucial to make an appointment within 1-2 weeks after your surgery, depending on the procedure and your surgeon’s recommendations.
Whether you’re a keen gardener with an overuse injury or an elite athlete, our team of expert physiotherapists will develop a customised rehabilitation program to streamline your recovery.
Call 08 9212 4254 or contact us online to book an appointment today.