Most people know someone who has recovered from or recently had an orthopedic surgery. If you have never experienced an orthopedic surgery, that’s GREAT, but there is a chance you will get to experience at least one at some point in your life. There are a lot of factors that go into recovering from an orthopedic surgery and how quickly you return to previous activities and level of function.
Physical Therapy can make a big difference in these areas. After a surgery, your body (and your mind) are recovering from the experience, and it helps to have good guidance for how much to push certain parts of your body in terms of motion and strength. Depending on the body part, your endurance/strength/activity level prior to surgery, and your goals for active living following surgery, there are ways to safely expedite attaining these goals without re-injury or without compromising another part of your body.
Most often, you will be given specific instructions at the hospital (or prior to the surgery) regarding the initial activities you should and should not perform. These are good to review before the surgery, when you are not dealing with the initial disorientation of having your body go through the reaction of the surgery itself. You should always follow the instructions from the surgeon and professional staff involved with your surgery. If they order Physical Therapy, it is in your best interest to follow these instructions once it is appropriate to start.
Post operative recovery is a tough time for a lot of people, not just due to the initial recovery from the surgery procedure. Your body needs time to heal, and then it needs a gradual progression of motion and strength. There are often precautions for a specific period of time set by the surgeon, depending on the nature of the surgery. It is important to be aware of these precautions in order to avoid re-injury, as well as guidance on what your body can and should handle in the weeks/ months to follow. If you have ever had a surgery like this, you know that there are things that you never even considered…that your body always did naturally without you even thinking about it! Having helpful tips and training in these areas helps not only with functioning better after the surgery, but reduces the chances of causing injury or poor compensation habits afterwards.