Facing surgery can be a little scary. Not only are you unsure how the operation itself will go, you may not be clear about what to expect once the anesthesia has worn off. Fortunately, our physical therapist can walk you through the precise recovery process for your surgery. Call today to schedule a consultation. In the meantime, these reasons to attend post-surgical rehab will shed some light on how physical therapy leads to a better recovery.
1. Scar Tissue is Real. And it’s Painful.
Surgery and scar tissue go hand in hand. Anytime a surgeon has to cut layers of skin, fatty tissue, connective tissue, and muscles, they must repair them as well. In the process of the body finishing what the surgeon started, scar tissue forms. Scar tissue forms from inflammation and irritation around joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, making it difficult for the area to move.
Once scar tissue has formed and solidified, it is difficult and painful to break. The sooner a physical therapist can help create movement in the area that has been affected by surgery, the less scar tissue will develop, the less pain a person will have during recovery. Even though physical therapy is often uncomfortable right after surgery, it is far less painful than waiting to begin rehabilitation.
2. Safe, Early Movement is Key!
Once upon a time, a person did not begin physical therapy until after their incision has healed. Now, a physical therapist will often begin the therapy process within 24 hours of surgery. Multiple studies have found that patients who are up and moving right after surgery have faster recovery times than those who are allowed to rest and recover before rehabilitation. Patients who have a knee or hip replacement are required to stand and walk within 24 hours. Patients who have surgery on other areas of the body are often referred to a physical therapist even before surgery, so they can begin therapy as soon as they are discharged from the hospital.
The sooner you begin rehabilitation after surgery, the faster your recovery, the better your outcome.
3. Your Physical Therapist is a Specialist
We often forget that a physical therapist is a medical specialist. Not only have they completed extensive training and education, they are also skilled diagnosticians. In your first meeting, your physical therapist will assess your current movement capabilities and discuss your surgical procedure. They will then schedule your post-surgical rehab appointments in a way that is appropriate for your goals and procedure.
Your first thought may be, “It’s too soon!” or “There’s no way I’ll be ready.” Trust their skill, experience and expertise. Committing to physical therapy the way it is prescribed, with the recommended timing and order, will have you back to optimal health much faster than fighting the process.
If you are facing surgery, don’t wait to schedule your appointment with a physical therapist. Not only will they be able to outline your rehabilitation schedule and recovery process, they may also have valuable insight into things you can do now to prepare for your surgery date. Call our office today!