Surgical procedures for the elderly are becoming more common, especially knee replacement and hip replacement operations. While people are staying fitter and active for longer than they used to, the aches and pains of growing older are still a major challenge.
Elderly people often require more care during post-operative rehabilitation compared to their younger counterparts. Luckily, our team of physiotherapists at Star Physio have comprehensive training and knowledge. This enables us to prepare older patients for surgery and develop an appropriate care management plan.
Customised Rehabilitation Program
At Star Physio in Perth, we develop a customised rehabilitation program to streamline the recovery process, prevent future injury and improve mobility, functionality, fitness and strength. Elderly patients require a specialised post-operative rehab plan, which may involve home visits and specific stretches.
The process starts by assessing functionality, strength and flexibility of the injured or previously injured area in the patient. We’ll then discuss the patient’s personal rehabilitation goals in consultation with family members and doctors to determine the best path to recovery.
Our treatment plan will focus on educating the patient, developing a tailored exercise regime for them and offering hands-on treatment. The goal is ultimately to improve their quality of life and help them maintain independence.
Common Surgeries Requiring Post-Operative Rehab
A rehabilitation program can be created for common conditions such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, degenerative joint diseases as well as major orthopaedic surgery such as a total joint replacement.
Hands-on treatment can provide symptomatic relief for pain while the prescription of the right exercises and stretches increase mobility and provide patients with the tools to self-manage their rehabilitation process.
Example Rehab Plan – Total Hip Replacement
Physiotherapy, regular exercise and a gradual return to everyday activities is crucial to restore normal hip motion and strength after a hip replacement. Rehabilitation programs aim to prevent contractures, improve patient education and strengthen muscles around the hip joint with controlled exercises.
Sometimes physical therapy begins immediately with minor exercises while sitting in a chair. Eventually, the rehabilitation program will incorporate stepping, walking, and climbing stairs with the initial use of walking aids. Pain is monitored while exercises take place and while some degree of discomfort is normal, patients often find the progress gratifying.
Depending on the individual case, these are some of the exercises rehabilitation programs might involve during early stages:
- Ankle pumps – slowly pushing your foot up and down several times a day
- Bed supported knee bends – sliding your heel towards your buttocks, bending your knee and keeping your heel on the bed
- Buttock contractions – tightening buttock muscles and holding to a count of 5 several times a day
- Standing knee raises – lifting your operated leg towards your chest and below your waist for 2 or 3 counts several times a day
- Standing hip abduction – lifting your leg out to the side while keeping your knee straight and maintaining a straight posture.
As your recovery progresses, exercises may involve more advanced activities such as elastic tube exercises, light weights, walking, pilates, water activities and stationary cycling. A full recovery can take a long time, and each case differs in its rehabilitative approach.
Get top notch physio and rehabilitation with the Star Physio team
If you’re a senior citizen who had or is about to have surgery and need physiotherapy in Perth, get in touch with our team. We offer expert services to everyone from elite athletes to the elderly, applying the same treatment techniques and rehab principles to achieve the best possible outcome.
Call 08 9212 4254 or contact us online to book an appointment today to plan your post-operative rehabilitation.