Orthopaedic surgery is necessary for various conditions, including osteoarthritis, tendon or ligament tears, and fractures.
If you're getting ready for orthopaedic surgery, you probably have heard about physical therapy after the procedure and may wonder if you need it for a successful recovery.
Physical therapy is vital to recovery from any surgery, including orthopaedic procedures. It provides the tools you require for a speedy and complication-free recovery.
Dr. Brandon Downs and the team at Orthopaedic Specialists understand the importance of physical therapy as part of the surgical process.
Dr. Downs is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who helps you understand the many benefits of physical therapy after any procedure to return to normal activities as quickly as possible.
The facts on physical therapy
Physical therapy is a type of treatment that doctors use to help people with mobility or neurological issues to recover and improve their quality of life.
Physical therapists are specially trained individuals who evaluate each person on an individual basis and provide a customized treatment plan to improve strength, mobility, and functionality for various conditions such as:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sports injuries
- Chronic pain conditions
We also use physical therapy after surgery to help the recovery process go smoothly. Procedures like fractures, joint replacements, and ACL repairs benefit from physical therapy.
Physical therapy aims to improve flexibility, balance, and functionality to provide a better quality of life to those with functional mobility problems.
Benefits of physical therapy after surgery
Physical therapy is especially beneficial after different types of surgery, including orthopaedic procedures. It's valuable in the recovery process for several reasons, including:
Our team focuses on increasing blood flow and decreasing inflammation during physical therapy sessions, which can lead to pain. We use ice, compression, and massage to promote pain relief and help the body heal.
Mobility is one of the significant recovery aspects essential to your future. Physical therapists create customized programs that allow you to slowly but efficiently improve your range of motion and mobility after surgery.
Circulation is the best way to help you heal by delivering oxygenated blood to the surgical area. We help circulation by massaging the area, stretching, and electrical stimulation to improve healing and reduce pain.
Although physical therapy can't help your incision heal faster, it does promote blood flow and essential nutrients to the area. It also decreases inflammation, both of which aid in the recovery process.
Decreased risk of complications
Complications like blood clots or infections after surgery may be highly detrimental to your health and recovery. Physical therapists work closely with you and your doctors to avoid unnecessary problems during recovery.
Less scar tissue formation
Scar tissue is inevitable after surgery but can hinder recovery if you're not careful. Scar tissue restricts motion and mobility, but physical therapy helps break up scar tissue early to prevent complications.
What to expect at the appointment
At your first appointment, the physical therapist evaluates the surgical area, including its appearance, overall swelling, and range-of-motion status.
The rest of the appointment depends on your surgical procedure and overall mobility and health. The main goal of the first appointment is to get an idea where to start with therapy to promote healing and mobility.
We aim to get you moving as soon as possible to prevent stiffness and promote blood flow to the surgical site. We do this through static and dynamic exercises and stretching to promote flexibility.
As the days and weeks progress, you can expect to do more independently, including building strength with weights, improving flexibility through stretching, and working on stability and balance.
Each appointment often combines working with the physical therapist through massage, stretching, soft tissue manipulation, and working on your own to improve strength and mobility.
With each session, you should begin to feel more like yourself and regain your range of motion and the mobility you had before.
To schedule a physical therapy consultation today, call Orthopaedic Specialists or request an online appointment at one of our six offices in the Nashville, Tennessee, area.