What Is Post-Operative Rehabilitation & Why Is It Important?

Unfortunately, no matter how much we wish it, life does not return to normal immediately following surgery.

It may be a few months before you’re on your feet and functioning normally, whether you had a routine operation or were involved in a catastrophic car accident.

Post-operative rehabilitation can greatly speed up your recovery and assure the most effectiveness from your surgery.

Physical therapy (PT) is an important facet of the post-operative rehabilitation process since it aids patients in regaining strength, mobility, and confidence. Stretches, exercises, hands-on therapy, and other modalities are among the strategies used to target specific body parts.

Let’s look at how physical therapy can help, as well as what else you should consider.

What is Post-Operative Rehabilitation (POSR)?

Post-surgery rehabilitation is a particularly developed program to re-establish muscular strength and joint function, prevent pulmonary and circulatory issues, boost mobility, and restore the patient’s confidence to live a full life once more.

Physical therapy is the most common method for achieving these objectives, and you can learn more about how it can help you here. Other health experts, however, play a role as well.

It’s important to remember that recovery from surgery can take a long time, anything from a few months to a year, so it’s not a quick fix. The duration of each program is determined by the procedure and its consequences.

The following are the most prevalent operations that benefit from post-surgery rehabilitation:

  • Orthopedics is a medical specialty that deals with the treatment of (bone, joint, and muscles)

  • Obstetric and gynecological procedures (postnatal, hysterectomy, etc.)

  • Neurological and spinal problems (disc repairs and replacements, brain surgery, spinal)

  • Thoracic and abdominal ( lungs, heart, liver, gastrointestinal system, and other organs)

  • Mammary glands (resections and reconstructions)

  • Urological problems (bladder and prostate)

What is the location of the event?

Post-surgical therapy usually begins in the hospital shortly after surgery and continues at your physiotherapist’s office.

In-hospital rehabilitation will be prescribed by your doctors and will be based on your unique operation and its consequences.

Following surgery, you will usually receive an introduction to your rehabilitation, as well as equipment, exercise recommendations, and instructions on how to move safely.

The Hospital’s Initial Rehabilitation Steps:

  • Assistance with movement: assisting and teaching you how to move safely, as well as advising and teaching you how to utilize mobility aids such as crutches.

  • Splints and slings: splints or slings are fitted, and instructions are given on how to perform it at home.

  • Breathing exercises: You will be taught how to breathe properly in order to avoid respiratory and cardiovascular issues.

Future rehabilitation advice: your doctors will discuss what to expect in the future weeks and months, as well as a treatment plan (or recommend another professional).

Advice for discharge: You will be advised about any necessary equipment and tools for your rehabilitation at home.

Exercises: If you’re in good enough shape, you might be taught particular exercises that you can do at home afterward.

Post-Operative Rehabilitation in the Outpatient Setting

You may be referred to a physical therapist after being discharged from the hospital, but you can also find one on your own. This is the start of the long road to recovery.

Your therapist and other medical professionals will devise a personalized treatment plan to aid in your recovery and improvement of range of motion, coordination, and strength. The ultimate goal is for you to be able to resume your normal activities as much as possible, return to work, and live a happy life.

The following are examples of therapy modalities:

  • Massage and mobilization with your hands

  • Exercising with a guide and at home

  • Thermotherapy: Hot and Cold

  • TENS and electrical stimulation

  • Light and laser therapy

There are many others that your physical therapist may recommend.

What Are the Benefits of Post-Operative Rehabilitation?

Patients may believe or hope that the hospital’s rehabilitation advice would be sufficient for them to recuperate. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and you will need to devote months to recuperation.

Physiotherapy and other rehabilitation treatments after surgery helps to strengthen and mobilize afflicted joints and muscles, as well as enhance circulation and breathing.

Rehabilitation after surgery can help with:

  • Take control of your pain and discomfort.

  • Reclaim your autonomy

  • Muscles should be strengthened and stretched.

  • Increase your range of motion and circulation.

  • Prevent chest infections by increasing lung volume.

  • Return to your normal daily routine.

  • Reduce your worry and reclaim your self-assurance.

  • Increase your comfort while lowering your risk of developing pressure sores.

Let’s take a deeper look at the most common advantages.

  • Reduction or abolition of pain

When recovering from surgery, one of the most prevalent difficulties is pain. Physical therapy is sometimes misunderstood as causing even more pain, although this is not the case.

By restoring muscle and joint function, various treatment techniques and exercises can really help lessen or eliminate pain.

  • Mobility regained or improved.

If you’ve ever undergone surgery, you know how difficult it is to move in the same way you did before. The surgery limits your range of motion, making it difficult to walk and perform numerous duties.

Physical therapy and a variety of exercises can help you increase your range of motion and teach you how to utilize mobility devices like crutches, canes, and walkers on a temporary basis.

What is the significance of Physical Therapy?

  • Improved muscular performance

Because you will be motionless for so long after surgery, your muscles will become tight and tense. A physical therapy program can help you improve muscle function, strengthen your muscles, and increase your flexibility and endurance. Massages, hands-on therapy, and exercises can all help with this.

  • Improved equilibrium

Surgery is a major physical trauma that requires time to recover from. After surgery, it’s common to lose your balance and fall down, and post-operative physiotherapy can help you learn exercises that will help you avoid those deadly inadvertent falls.

  • Blood circulation is improved

Because surgery is traumatic, and you’ll be lying in bed for a long time, you’ll want to make sure your blood circulation isn’t harmed.

Blood transports oxygen and other nutrients throughout the body, so proper circulation is essential for recovery and healing.

What Exactly Is A Complete Rehabilitation Program?

While physical therapy is an important part of your post-surgery recovery, there’s a lot more you can do to ensure a well-rounded treatment plan.

Here is a list of all the health professionals who may be of assistance to you throughout your post-surgery rehabilitation.

  • An occupational therapist is someone who helps people with their jobs.

Depending on the outcome of your surgery, you may require assistance in regaining fundamental abilities such as cooking, showering, and dressing. An occupational therapist can assist you in relearning these skills more quickly and easily, as well as teach you specific practices that will make your life easier.

  • Nutritionist

Nutrition is essential for recovery, and a nutritionist can assist you in creating a nutritious diet plan. They can also collaborate with your doctor to incorporate certain goods and nutrients that can hasten your recovery.

  • Speech-language pathologist

Patients who have had particular surgeries (e.g., brain) require assistance in regaining this skill, and a speech therapist is critical in this process.

  • Nurses who come to you

If you can afford it, having an at-home nurse can be quite beneficial. They will not only assist you with your daily duties, but they will also keep track of your rehabilitation appointments, healing, and medication, among other things. It’s possible that you won’t need a live-in nurse because a couple of hours a day will suffice.

  • Psychologist

After surgery, it’s critical to look after your emotional health. Anxiety, tension, and even despair are common in patients, so a counselor or psychologist can help you get through this difficult period.

Patients frequently underestimate the significance of this and believe that taking care of their physical bodies is sufficient. A healthy mind, on the other hand, makes you feel better, makes you more committed to your rehabilitation activities, and actually speeds up the process.

How much time will it take?

The million-dollar question is how long it takes to recover from surgery. And it’s not an easy question to answer because each patient and situation is unique.

A full recovery could take anywhere from a month to a half-year to a year.

A year is usually the longest it takes, provided there are no difficulties, and you remain committed to the rehabilitation process.

However, it’s vital to remember that some patients may never be able to return to 100 percent of their previous capacities, and this is something that a doctor and a physical therapist should discuss after the operation and during the rehabilitation process.

Expecting reasonable results will help you avoid disappointment and stay focused on the task at hand.

In Closing

Rehabilitation after surgery is a long, gradual process that can take weeks, months, or even a year.

Physical therapy (PT) is an important facet of the post-operative rehabilitation process since it aids patients in regaining strength, mobility, and confidence. Stretches, special exercises, hands-on therapy, and other modalities will almost certainly be advised.

The rehabilitation process begins in the hospital and continues at the physical therapist’s office or at the patient’s home.

In addition to physical therapy, various medical professionals such as a nutritionist, psychologist, occupational therapist, and speech therapist should be consulted to address all aspects of recovery.

We can help you get back on track and begin your journey to a pain-free life at 1on1 Physical Therapy in Asheville, NC with our customized ONE to ONE PHYSICAL THERAPY approach.

We can book your visit within hours if you are ready to begin advanced post-surgery therapy. (828) 785-8388

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