The Value of Physical Therapy after Orthopaedic Surgery
Effectively recovering from an orthopaedic surgery, whether it be a hip or knee replacement, spinal surgery, rotator cuff surgery, or other procedure, requires the assistance of a team of skilled professionals that understand the impact your surgery has on your body. Often, a team of skilled physical or occupational therapists will work with your orthopaedic surgeon in order to best help the patient recover their range of motion, or ROM, of the affected area.
The amount of time spent on physical therapy after a procedure is dependent on a number of different factors. The speed at which the patient begins to see results and success from the therapy techniques, as well as the severity of the injury, will have a significant impact on the amount of total rehabilitation needed. Patients that undergo more complex procedures such as a joint replacement or reconstruction will generally require more time and therapy to recover fully.
How Physical Therapists Help You
The first objective of a skilled physical therapist is to assess the range of motion and functionality of the affected joint to establish a point of reference. The therapist will then ask questions to determine the amount of pain you experience in order to create a plan that best suits your needs. In some situations, a therapist may consult with the patient’s family to discuss changes needed at home to better help the recovery process.
When changes to the home or workplace are required after an orthopaedic surgery, our occupational and physical therapist team will consult with the patient to determine the alterations needed for maximum comfort and functionality during recovery. Common changes include adding wheelchair ramps and ensuring restrooms are easily accessible. In the workplace, ergonomic chairs and keyboards are a common addition. Our team of therapists work closely with our orthopaedic surgeons to best fulfill all treatment goals.
Initially, the therapist’s goal is to rehabilitate and strengthen the affected joint enough so that the patient can complete routine tasks on their own. Once that goal is met, and the patient is back in their home, other exercises and ROM building programs will promote full joint recovery.
With your active participation in the recovery process, our team of Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeons and physical & occupational therapists will help restore your quality of life. Request an appointment online, or contact us today at 904-825-0540 with any questions about physical therapy or orthopaedic care.
Ryan Hemelt – DPT, MOTR/L
Director of Rehabilitation, overseeing all physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training, and sports medicine outreach programs.