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What Is Pre and Post Surgical Rehab?

Having surgery? Most people are aware that post-surgical rehab is a crucial part of the healing process. Post-surgical rehab is vital to helping you regain your strength, balance, flexibility, and function. This will ensure your success and help to expedite your recovery time after surgery. What most do not know is that pre-surgical rehabilitation also helps to speed recovery and allows for a smoother outcome. Pre-rehab can help improve blood flow and circulation that are so important for wound healing and the prevention of scar tissue. It can also help to improve your overall health in preparation for the strain and stress that often goes with general anesthesia, surgery, and recovery. While post surgical rehab works to strengthen your body after surgery, pre-rehab works to maximize your strength, endurance and mobility prior to your surgery date to allow for a more successful surgical process.

How Physical Therapy Can Help With Pre-Surgical Rehab?

On your FIRST visit, your physical therapist will perform an evaluation by conducting a thorough review of your surgeon’s recommendations, any pertinent medical records, and your medical history. They will then perform several tests to see how well you move the affected area and what can be done to help maximize your postoperative recovery.

For the best possible outcomes, rehab before surgery should:

  • Begin around six weeks before surgery
  • Progress slowly to avoid aggravating the existing problem
  • Incorporate breaks in exercise to minimize discomfort

Your pre-surgical physical therapy rehab program may include:

  • Manual therapy to help minimize pain and maximize movement in the area
  • Targeted exercises to help improve your overall physical condition and prepare you for surgery
  • Isometric strength training and low-impact muscle toning to strengthen supporting tendons, ligaments and muscles.
  • Supportive measures to protect the area that will be operated on while you are in physical therapy
  • The use of ice, heat, ultrasound, and/or TENS to minimize pain, as well as facilitate muscle activation

Your physical therapist will evaluate your progress along the way and will communicate with your surgeon to determine the point where you are ready for surgery. This process will begin again once your surgery is over so you can complete your recovery and reclaim a better life.

How Physical Therapy Can Help With Post-Surgical Rehab?

Post-surgical rehab uses a variety of exercises and treatments to help limit the amount of pain you are experiencing while increasing functional strength, flexibility, balance, range of motion and quality of movement. On your FIRST visit, your physical therapist will evaluate your surgical site and current abilities based on the type of surgery you had. Using this information, they will then create a customized recovery plan designed to meet your unique post-surgical needs.

Your post-surgical physical therapy rehab program may include:

  • Manual Therapy to improve mobility in your joints and soft tissues
  • Targeted exercises to improve movement and increase overall physical endurance
  • Ultrasound or Cold laser treatment to break up scar tissue and to help reduce pain and swelling
  • Ice, Heat and/or TENS to limit inflammation and reduce pain levels, as well as facilitate muscle activation to increase strength

You physical therapist will always periodically evaluate your progress during the rehabilitation process and make adjustments to your treatment plan to maximize your potential for improvement. Upon discharge, you will be provided with a thorough home exercise program with instructions on how to continue to build strength, mobility, and endurance.

Just remember, RECOVERY TAKES TIME! You may strictly adhere to your physical therapy schedule and exercises but your body’s natural healing process may be slowed by diet, age, other medical conditions, or your pre-surgical wellness. Regardless of how long it takes, it is important to remember, patience and consistency are the key while you allow your body do the work of healing.

Do you have an upcoming surgery? Your doctor may recommend pre-surgical rehabilitation before surgery to help you during and after the operation. For more information, please feel free to call or contact us. Our team is made up of enthusiastic, hands-on providers who offer a comprehensive range of services. We look forward to giving you the care you deserve.