The Benefits of Physical Therapy Post-Surgery

Physical Therapy, Physical Rehabilitation


Your orthopedic surgery is just the first step in your recovery. You’ll need a post-op physical therapy program to completely heal. Learn about the benefits.

You may think that once you’ve successfully come through your orthopedic surgery, the hard part is over. Unfortunately you’re not quite done healing yet. To fully recover from most orthopedic surgeries, you’ll need to complete a physical therapy (PT) program.

Post-surgery physical therapy is an important step in getting you back to your old self. While the thought of undergoing physical therapy may be a bit overwhelming when you’re achy and stiff from the surgery, the benefits are undeniable — and you’ll start seeing them far sooner than you may think if you start right away.

Five benefits of post-surgery PT

The type of physical therapy you’ll need and the length of time you’ll need it for will be determined by the type of orthopedic surgery you had as well as your condition and your commitment to the course of PT, including doing any exercises you’re assigned regularly. Don’t be surprised if you start your physical therapy immediately after your operation. One study found that initiating PT on the day of hip surgery corresponded with a shorter hospital stay.

No matter what type of surgery you had, a physical therapist will tailor a program specifically for you. It will likely include a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises as well as manual massage. Electrical stimulation and hot/cold therapy may also be used.

You’ll proceed through the program at your own pace. As you continue with PT, these five benefits of starting it right away will become obvious:

Better mobility. After surgery, it’s normal to develop scar tissue that makes your joints and muscles stiff and achy. The longer the scar tissue is allowed to form, the more difficult it will be to break it up. But PT soon after surgery loosens the scar tissue and gives you back your mobility and flexibility.

Shortened rehab time. You can speed up the PT process if you start therapy soon after surgery. The sooner you get into PT, the less time you’ll spend in rehab. That means less money spent on PT and a quicker path back to your normal activities.

Less pain. Yes, a PT program can reduce your pain! By getting your body moving again, you’ll alleviate the swelling, discomfort, and inflammation that often comes after an orthopedic operation.

Fewer complications. Complications such as infection and blood clots can follow any surgery. One way to prevent complications is by getting out of bed and being active as soon as possible. PT gets the blood flowing, which lessens the risk of a dangerous clot.

Improved circulation. PT boosts circulation, and that can definitely help in the recovery process. When blood rushes to the surgical site, it brings along nutrients and oxygen to heal the affected area. You’ll experience less pain and inflammation once your blood is flowing to your muscles and tissues.

In short, there are many benefits to starting your PT program as soon as possible post-surgery — even the same day in some cases. Don’t delay scheduling those PT appointments. Every session takes you closer to a full recovery and a return to your daily routine. Once your recovery is complete, you’ll soon forget you even had surgery.

Find a physical therapist at All Sports Physical Therapy

Looking for a physical therapist? The PT team at All Sports Physical Therapy has helped hundreds of patients overcome orthopedic injuries and recover from surgery. We’ll develop a holistic PT plan customized to your needs to quickly get you back on track. Contact our office today for a consultation.

If you’re thinking about orthopedic surgery, you can contact our partner, New York Bone & Joint Specialists for a consultation. Our teams will work together to make your rehabilitation a success.

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