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Post Operative Physical Therapy

The purpose of pre- & post- operative rehabilitation is to provide a rapid recovery utilizing the best possible exercise programs. Therapists maintain close communication with the physician in order to fully understand what the patient is undergoing and to prepare an individual treatment plan.

The pre-op visit accomplishes many things. Patients are able to meet the therapist who will plan their post-operative care and ask questions about their upcoming care. The pre-op visit is also an opportunity for the patient to practice with post-surgery walking aids such as crutches, cane or a walker. The therapist will explain what the post-operative exercises will be like and talk to you about practicing them as soon as you feel able. Exercising as soon as possible ensures that the joint stays mobile and its strength is maintained or increased. Most therapists conduct several tests on patients to determine their physical capabilities and plan the best possible program. Items a therapist will judge and share with the your physician include:
      - Muscle and joint strength
      - Walking ability
      - Independence within the home

Post-operative physical therapy usually begins the day after surgery and usually continues as an outpatient.  How often you need physical therapy will depend on your individual needs, such as:

  • Range of motion exercises to keep your joints mobile
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Movements in and out of bed and onto different types of chairs
  • Self-care techniques for bathing, dressing and more
  • Walking training, including stairs and curbs
  • Community access, including learning how to negotiate elevators
  • Enter and exit buildings
  • Getting in and out of cars
  • A home exercise program that you can do independently by following written instructions from the therapist
The goal of any physical therapy program is to help you  recover as much of your post-operative abilities as  possible. Recovery programs should last as long as  needed to return you to full function.


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