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To ensure your recovery from surgery is a smooth process there are two aspects that are critical. Pre and post-operative rehabilitation.
You may be aware that after surgery we require a rehab program, designed to promote healing, reduce pain and swelling, restore joint mobility, flexibility and strength. But often the specialist will recommend a “prehab” program.
A Prehab program is designed to help prepare your body leading up to having surgery and provides better outcomes. The goals of a prehab program:
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Improve/maintain range of motion
- Develop muscular control of the injured joint
- Normalising movement patterns
- Maintaining/improving well-being and fitness
- Mentally prepare for surgery and post-op rehab
Physiotherapy is usually recommended following most forms of orthopaedic surgery of the spine, upper limb (shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand) and lower limb (hip, knee, ankle and foot) to encourage a speedy recovery. Physio may begin during your stay in hospital within a few hours or there may be a period of immobilisation. Your specialist will give you a referral to start physiotherapy.
Your ability to regain optimal movement, strength and return to their daily activities will depend on physiotherapy. For most people it can be a struggle to regain normal movement without the specific guidance that physio can offer. Depending on your surgery, there may be a specific protocol that physio will follow, these are stages that you must adhere to, for the best recovery.
Your first appointment will involve a detailed history of your injury, it’s important to bring all medical information you might have. Then a physical assessment to identify problems such as pain and swelling, movement restrictions, weakness and functional deficits. Working together we will set achievable goals to help return you back to normal activity.
To achieve these goals and return you to a pre-injury activity level. Rehab treatments may include:
- Strategies for pain reduction such as heat and massage
- Exercises to improve movement of the joint
- Strengthening exercises
- Postural retraining and balance exercises
- Gait analysis and training
- Manual therapy techniques
- Wound Care advice
- Home exercise instruction