There are certain orthopaedic and sports injury conditions that require surgical intervention. Your orthopaedic surgeon will discuss at length with you on the need for surgery for your condition, and the type of surgery required. You will also be advised on post-surgery care and rehabilition so that you can be on an optimal road to recovery. Regardless of the type of surgery, it can be a major event in one’s life. However, it is only a part of the journey for the treatment of your injury or condition. The recovery process is just as pertinent, with post-surgery rehab playing a big role.
What is Post-Surgery Rehabilitation?
When you have surgery, you will most likely need some form of rehabilitation afterwards. It is a process to slowly get back to normal activity levels. This is because surgery can cause muscles to weaken, joints to stiffen, and bones to heal improperly if they are not moved correctly. Rehabilitation helps you regain your strength, flexibility, and mobility so that you can return to your everyday activities.
Physiotherapists are usually the ones who oversee post-surgery rehabilitation, but there are other types of therapists that may be involved as well, such as occupational therapists and speech therapists. The type of rehabilitation you need will depend on the type of surgery you had. For example, someone who has had a hip replacement surgery will need different exercises than someone who has had a knee replacement surgery.
Physiotherapy plays a vital role in post-surgery rehabilitation. Patients may often experience a decline in their physical function after surgery. Physiotherapy helps patients regain the strength, flexibility, and mobility required to improve their physical function. Physiotherapists design individualised treatment plans based on the specific needs of each patient. Treatment plans may include exercises, stretching, massage, electrical stimulation, and ice/heat therapy. Physiotherapists also provide education on proper body mechanics and injury prevention.
Post-Surgery Rehab Stages
There are four main stages of rehabilitation following surgery: the initial, sub-acute, chronic, and return-to-activity stages. In the initial stage, patients are typically still in the hospital and working on regaining basic functioning. This is followed by the sub-acute stage, where patients begin to focus on more specific goals such as range of motion and strengthening. The chronic stage is when patients are able to return to their daily activities but may still need to continue with some form of physiotherapy. Finally, patients reach the return-to-activity stage when they are able to resume all normal activities without any restrictions. The length of time spent in each stage varies depends on each individual’s recovery process. Post-surgery rehabilitation is a crucial part of the recovery process, and it is best to work with a qualified rehabilitation therapist to ensure that you progress through each stage safely and effectively.
Tips for Post-Surgery Rehab
Take the time you need to heal properly and don’t try to do too much, too soon. There may be setbacks, but just take it one day at a time and eventually you’ll get there. Smoothen your post-surgery recovery and rehabilitation by:
Following your orthopaedic surgeon’s instructions closely. This will help you heal properly and reduce your risk of complications.
- Getting plenty of rest. Your body needs time to recover from surgery, so don’t overdo it. Get plenty of rest and give your body the time it needs to heal.
- Eating nutritious foods. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins will aid your body in healing and provide the nutrients you need for recovery.
- Exercise as directed by your physiotherapist or surgeon. Exercise is an important part of post-surgery rehab, but take care not to overdo it. Start slow and gradually increase your activity level as directed by your care team.
- Attend all of your rehabilitation appointments. Rehabilitation is a crucial part of the healing process after surgery, so be sure to attend all of your appointments and follow through with your exercises at home.
- Be patient with yourself. Recovery after surgery takes time, so be patient and give yourself time to heal. Focus on taking small steps each day to improve functionality and range of motion.
Return to Daily Life
You may be eager to return to your previous level of activity or sports, but take time to follow your doctor‘s orders and progress at a safe rate. Surgery, whether it’s for a fractured bone or a more serious condition, requires a period of rest and recovery. During this time, your body needs to heal and regain its strength. Once you are cleared by your surgeon, you can begin to slowly return to your normal activities. Depending on the type of surgery you had, this may mean a gentle return or modifying certain activities you used to partake in. It may even mean adapting to new normals for you. Tune in to your body instead of pushing yourself too hard. Additionally, when you take the time to rehabilitate properly, it increases the chances of a successful outcome and prevents further injury.
Choose A Trusted Orthopaedic Surgeon
With an experienced orthopaedic surgeon and sports injury doctor, you can have better peace of mind and reassurance when undergoing surgery and rehabilitation. Dr Gowreeson Thevendran is skilled in surgical techniques to treat foot and ankle conditions, as well as knee, hip and thigh conditions with a specialist interest and surgical expertise in lower limb conditions. Book an appointment with OrthofootMD in Singapore to learn more about surgical options and post-surgery rehabilitation.