Post-surgery Rehabilitation – Is It Important?
So, you have injured yourself and your doctor has suggested that you do surgery. You are considering it because it seems like nothing else will work. In severe cases, surgery is indeed a necessary solution.
It is okay to feel nervous or fearful about surgery. One of the things that can help you feel better about the procedure is finding out more about it. Unfortunately, for a lot of my patients, one aspect of the recovery that they often do not consider is the post-surgery rehabilitation. Therefore, I decided to tell you all about it here.
What is post-surgery rehabilitation?
Post-surgery rehabilitation is a phase of rehabilitation which typically happens a few months after the surgery. These physiotherapy sessions are aimed at recovering your full range of motion, strength, and functional movements. The final goal can differ from patient to patient. Some want to go back to competitive sports while others just want to be able to live their lives pain free. As physiotherapists, we help you devise a plan that can get you to your goal.
Why do post-surgery rehabilitation?
There are many benefits of rehabilitation post-surgery. They are:
- Scar tissue management – with most surgeries, you are going to have a surgical wound. Scar tissues will grow around the wound as part of the healing process. Physiotherapy will help you to minimise the scar tissue formation and prevent them from complicating your recovery.
- Regaining mobility – one of the most important aspect of doing rehabilitation is regaining your full range of motion. You risk not being able to regain the full range of motion if you do not move your joints enough after the surgery
- Regain muscle strength – you will lose a lot of muscle bulk after surgery. This is especially true if you must be immobilised for a period of time. During your rehabilitation process, your physio will prescribe exercises to help regain the lost muscle strength.
There are many other benefits such as pain management, swelling management, and movement retraining. In general, rehabilitation is necessary if you want to avoid complications.
What should I do?
The best thing you can do is participate! Research has shown that patients who actively participate in their own recovery process typically have better results and recovery experiences than those who don’t. Spending time with a physiotherapist can help the patient know which methods for recovery will work best for them and how to maintain that level of health after, if not increase their overall health afterwards.
Is there anything else I can do to prepare for surgery?
There is! This depends on the kind of injuries you have, but some doctors may even prescribe a few sessions of physiotherapy prior to the operation. This is known as prehabilitation. The aim is to help strengthen your body ahead of time and find out more about what the recovery process may end up looking like for you. For example, it’s been found that back surgery patients who have undergone physiotherapy have had a quicker recovery time than those who hadn’t gone through post-surgery rehabilitation.