Pre and Post Operative Physiotherapy.

Star Physio staff have worked closely with the surgeons and sports doctors at Perth Ortho since 1995. Over this time we have formed close working relationships to allow us to give our clients the best possible care.

Physiotherapy university training covers a very broad range of subjects, but sadly pre and post-op physiotherapy is neglected. Star Physio are involved in ongoing research and have developed safe pre and post-operation protocols in close consultation with orthopaedics surgeons to make sure you are receiving the appropriated exercises for your surgery.

Our close relationship and proximity to the Perth Ortho surgeons allows ongoing communication and collaboration to help you get the best possible outcome related to your surgery.

Make sure you chat to your surgeon about using the experts at Star Physio for your pre and post-op physiotherapy care.

Pre-Op Physiotherapy.

This is a commonly overlooked area of a patient’s surgical journey! The goal of pre-operation physiotherapy and care is to help you arrive at your surgery in the best possible health. This in turn can have a dramatic affect on your surgery risks and post operative recovery.

Pre-operative care may include

  • Assisting in managing pain and function prior to surgery
  • Maximizing your strength, movement and fitness
  • Optimising your nutrition and weight
  • Understanding your surgery and immediate post-operative period
  • Learning your initial post operative exercises

Managing Pain and Function Before Surgery

Most patients book in for surgery because they have an injury or ongoing pain that is preventing them from enjoying their life. In chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, ongoing pain leads to loss of function. This includes deterioration of muscle strength, joint mobility and often general fitness and health.

Pain is often an important factor in this loss of function. An experienced physiotherapist can assist you in reducing your pain and improving function before any surgery.

Strength, Movement and Fitness

Our team are experienced and trained in pre and post-op physiotherapy. Our goal is to help you get to surgery in the best possible shape so that you can bounce out the other side faster!

Understanding your problem and working in consultation with your surgeon, we can implement a pre-op physiotherapy program. This will safely maximise your strength, muscle bulk, movement and fitness before surgery to improve your post-operative outcomes. We use Pilates, body weight and gym programs with evidence based protocols.

Have you heard of the GLA:D program? Developed in Sweden, all patients who are recommended for hip or knee joint replacement undertake this program prior to surgery. The results have been remarkable in improved function and reduction of medication and in some cases the ability to postpone surgery due to such significant improvements. You can read more about our GLA:D Program here.

Optimised Health – Clinical Nutrition

Clinical Nutrition uses evidence based methods based on blood test results to optimise your surgical experience. From managing weight and nutrients, to understanding fibre and protein requirements post operatively, this is a key area of your surgical journey.

Our expert Jemma Watson has over 20 years experience in the health industry with double degrees in both Clinical Nutrition and Physiotherapy. She has worked with surgeons in Australia and London for pre and post surgical optimisation.

Read more about optimising your pre and post-operative journey with the right nutritional advice here. Ask your surgeon for a referral for the correct blood tests (bulk billed) and a referral to Jemma.

Understanding your surgery and the early post-op period.

Surgeons and hospital staff are very busy and often time restricted. Our expert post-op physiotherapy staff can help you understand what happens during your surgery and what to expect after.

Many patients try to ‘tough it out’ and avoid taking pain relief medications in the early post-operative period. Reducing pain and with it fear and avoidance of use is important after surgery. It is also very important to know what you need to avoid doing after surgery to enable the best possible outcomes.

Star Physio staff often get feedback that hospital staff have not explained clearly what they should and shouldn’t do after surgery, including post operative exercises.

Learn Your Post-Op Physiotherapy Exercises, Before Your Surgery!

Over many years of working with patients around their surgery, we have learned that teaching exercises the same day or day after surgery is not ideal!

Between drowsiness, medication and sometimes pain, many patients are unable to perform or remember their initial post surgery exercises and advice. The ideal time to commence your post-op physiotherapy exercises is… you guessed it… pre-operatively! In addition to exercises, often you will need to use the use of aids such as braces, slings or crutches.

The great thing about learning this and practising it pre-operatively is that not only will you remember it, you will also have less fear around your exercises.

Chat to your surgeon about booking in with the Star Physio experts for a pre-operative consult today!

Post-Op Physiotherapy

Star Physio loves to work closely with patients and their surgeon after surgery to help them achieve the best possible outcomes! The best orthopaedic surgeons understand that the operation is only part of the bigger picture of getting patients back to living their best life.

As mentioned, not all physiotherapists are trained in post-operative physiotherapy. Very few have the experience, or close working relationship that the Star Physio team enjoy with Perth Orthopaedics in our shared West Perth rooms. We also enjoy a great working relationship with a number of other expert orthopaedic and spinal surgeons outside of POSM and are happy to receive their referrals and assist with their clients.

Post-Operative Care Includes

  • Treatment of early post-op pain and movement restriction.
  • Review and clarification of early post-op rehabilitation.
  • Discussion of goals and realistic outcomes and timeframes.
  • Progressive post operative rehabilitation program
  • Ongoing communication and collaboration with your surgeon
  • Safe progression and return to best possible function
  • Return to Sport testing

Early Post-Op Physiotherapy Treatment

Star Physio experts typically see post operative patients for the first time 10-14 days after their surgery. As we are in the same building as Perth Orthopaedics, we try and arrange a time as close to immediately following your surgical review for your convenience.  Your surgeon can give us up to date feedback and recommendations for your care that you bring directly to your appointment and we can discuss any concerns with your surgeon.

Pain is a very individual experience and also differs depending on the type of surgery you have had. Out physiotherapists have a range of pain relieving techniques that can help you in the early post-op stages to be more comfortable and also to complete your important exercises. These can include soft tissue and joint mobilisation, acupuncture and taping as well as advice on resting positions to make you more comfortable.

Our physios will often discuss your pain and use of medication. When required we can discuss with your surgeon modification of these. Keeping your pain under control in the early stages post operatively is very important.

Review of Post-Op Physiotherapy Exercises

At your initial post-op physiotherapy appointment, one of the most important tasks is to review your early exercises to ensure that they are being done correctly. Many patients forget or don’t understand the information they are given in hospital. 

Understanding your safe and important exercises can make a significant difference to your pain and also your progress in the initial weeks. Most importantly we ensure that you understand what you must avoid to minimise the risk of any complications after your surgery.

Depending on your surgery and progress, we will often fine tune and progress your exercises at this appointment.

Discussing Realistic Goals and Timeframes

It is of utmost importance to remember that the patient – you – are at the centre of all decisions made! Our physiotherapists are keen to understand what you hope to return to do, whether it is a walk around the block or a return to elite sport. 

Post-operative time frames can be variable, but generally we can give you useful guidance on when you should hit certain milestones. These might include coming out of a brace or sling, taking load through a joint or returning to walk. We also understand normal time frames for pain and swelling. If we are concerned that you are not recovering as we expect, our close relationship with our surgeons enables us to quickly get in touch to help you get the best possible care.

Progressive Post-Op Physiotherapy Rehabilitation

Depending on your surgery and your progress, we will typically review you every fortnight in the initial postoperative period. Some patients might prefer more contact and supervision, and some we may recommend it! 

Our experts, working closely with your surgeon understand when and how to progress movement and load on your operated area. Depending on surgery we may rapidly progress your program or it may be a cautious and slow rehabilitation.

For many people, 6 weeks after surgery we are beginning to increase movement and load on an area and by 3 months post-op, a lot of normal life functions can be achieved for most.

Most significant surgeries take 12 months to return to full function and for some patients, improvements can continue for two years.

Ongoing Collaboration and Communication With Your Surgeon.

At all times our goal is to work with your surgeon and you to achieve the best possible outcome in the shortest possible time.

For some clients, things go smoothly the whole way and we will not have much need to communicate with your surgeon. The surgeons at Perth Orthopaedics trust the Star Physio staff and so at times, no news is good news!

For other patients, we may be in regular contact, fine tuning post-op care on an individual basis in complicated cases.

Our 25 years working together and close proximity ensure that whatever your circumstances, we can be in touch quickly and make sure your care is optimised.

Safe Return to Full Function

At all times, your safety and the protection of your surgical site/ operation is at the forefront of our decision making in your post-op physiotherapy.

As you progress through your post-op milestones, and with the consent of your surgeon, we will progress your rehabilitation according to your goals. Commonly by this stage a significant part of your program will be around strengthening. For some, body weight exercises will be adequate to return to lighter duties, but for many we will recommend strengthening exercises.

Our team are experts in rehabilitation through strength and conditioning and will teach you how to do your exercises safely and with the right amount of load. Occasionally the thought of this is daunting for clients and we are always happy to work to find alternatives, but equally will give you the evidence to support our suggestions.

We are proud at how many of our post operative clients come out of surgery and continue their rehabilitation journey with us, often ending up fitter and stronger sometimes than they have ever been!!! 

Whatever your goals, The Star Physio Team are here to work with you to try to achieve them!

Return to Sport Testing

For those looking to return to higher level activities and team sports, Star Physio have evidence based testing programs and strength assessment equipment.

Typical recommendations for return to sport might include full range of movement and 90% strength compared to the uninjured side which we can measure accurately. Other testing might include endurance and agility testing. One of the most important determinants for return to sport is whether you feel confident to return to the sport of your choice. Knowing you have undertaken a high quality rehabilitation program with an expert post-op physiotherapy team will help a lot with this!

As many of our staff are (or were!) athletes, we understand sport and will guide you back through safe progressions in your sport.

Get in touch!

Please, if you need any more information about your pre or post op physiotherapy journey, send us an email or call our friendly staff on 64249578. Otherwise book here! No referral is required, but please talk to your surgeon and request an operation record, particularly if you are seeing a surgeon from outside of Perth Orthopaedics.


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