Knowing you need to have surgery can be a somewhat frightening experience. Not only is the procedure itself scary – going under anesthesia and the surgical process itself – but there is also the unknown of how your recovery will go and if you will have any issues on the other side. One way to minimize complications and help speed up your recovery is by working with a physical therapist as part of your post-surgery rehabilitation.
Years ago, it was the medical school of thought that a patient should never begin physical therapy following surgery until their incision had completely healed. But today’s medical professionals have learned that the sooner a patient begins moving, the faster their recovery time will. This is why many patients will begin working with a physical therapist within a day or two following their surgery. In fact, many surgeons will put the patient in touch with a physical therapist prior to the surgery in order to avoid any kind of delay in consulting and scheduling the first post-surgical appointment.
At this first appointment, your physical therapist will evaluate your condition and see what limitations you are having in the affected area prior to surgery. They will also discuss the procedure you are going to have and then set up a schedule for your post-surgical rehabilitation.
Most people think the only thing a physical therapist can help with is regaining movement after surgery, but there is another critical issue that your therapist will be focusing on preventing. Many surgeries result in the formation of scar tissue. Whenever the skin is cut into, it has to repair itself, but this process also involves the development of scar tissue. Scar tissue is caused by irritation and inflammation around the joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons in the area where the surgical incision was made.
The sooner a physical therapist can begin helping the patient move the area where the surgery was performed, the less scar tissue will develop. This also means the less pain the patient will have. And remember, once scar tissue has formed, it can be very difficult – and painful – to break. This is another reason to begin physical therapy right away after your surgery.
Call a Skilled Physical Therapy Clinic for All of Your Questions
If you have been told by your doctor that you need surgery, you may have many questions regarding the recovery process and physical therapy that will be needed to aid in that recovery. The sooner you can begin, the more positive the results will likely be for you. Although physical therapy may cause some discomfort, it will be far less discomfort than if you wait too long to begin your physical therapy treatments.