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We work with your surgeon to help you get the best outcome from your surgery. We work pre-operatively to help prepare you for your surgery mentally and physically, and work with your doctor after surgery to design a personalized rehabilitation program for you to help you gain the strength, movement, and endurance you need to return to performing the activities you did before. It can also make a huge difference if you come to physical therapy prior to surgery to learn about your surgery, become familiar with some of your post-operative exercises, and normalize your range of motion and movement patterns as much as possible to avoid compensation.
The goals of pre-operative physical therapy are to better prepare you mentally and physically so that you have a great outcome after surgery. Some of the ways we help you prepare are to:
- Educate you about your surgery and post-operative timeline and plan
- Work with you to reduce swelling, pain and inflammation prior to surgery
- Help make sure your range of motion is as good as possible prior to surgery
- Teach you some of the exercises you'll be doing after surgery
- Help fix poor movement patterns (compensations) so you can start working on them early
Physical therapy has been shown to improve outcomes after orthopedic surgeries (joint surgeries for the neck, back, hip, shoulder, wrist and hand, knee, or ankle and foot). Your physical therapist will design a program with you based on your surgery, your body, and your goals to help you regain your range of motion, strength, movement patterns and abilities after surgery. Depending on the type of surgery you have and the requests of your surgeon, physical therapy can start a few hours to a few weeks after surgery.
The final goal of physical therapy is to reach YOUR goals and help you return to work and play, whatever that means for you. We will perform a comprehensive initial evaluation in which we work with you to determine your goals for rehabilitation and asses your body's abilities and limitations. Then we guide you through a progression of exercises designed to get you through the phases of recovery in a safe manner. We will incorporate the following activities, with your individual goals in mind:
- Strategies for controlling pain, such as ice/heat, massage, and positioning for sleep and activities
- Range of motion exercises and manual therapy
- Exercises to strengthen muscles
- Walking/running analysis and training
- Self-care training
- Work training (specific modifications or exercises to prepare you for your job requirements)
- Exercises and training to help you return to your sport, activity or exercise of choice
All of our physical therapists work with orthopedic injuries and joint pain, although some of us specialize in certain areas of the body. Read more about our therapists, or call our office to see if a specific therapist is better for your injury or symptoms.