Pre and Post Op Rehab

pre and post op rehab

During the course of treating an injury or medical condition, surgery might be required. If this is the case, you need to be educated about the operation as well as the rehabilitation that will be involved afterward. This is necessary to ensure the best outcome for your case. The conditions for which surgery may be recommended are broadly grouped into two main categories. They can either be elective or emergency.

Emergency surgery

The surgery recommended for someone who has been involved in an accident or injured in some way is often referred to as emergency surgery. Various injuries such as broken risk, broken ankle, or broken femur often require surgery to correct the misaligned bones. This makes it possible for the bones to heal and return to the best possible function. In some cases, surgeons may use wires, plates, and screws to hold the bones in place while they heal.

Elective surgery

Unlike emergency surgeries that are carried out right away, elective surgeries are scheduled in advance. Most people find the term elective confusing because it connotes that surgery is not compulsory. This isn’t the case. Even though the surgery is needed, if it is not an emergency, it is often referred to as elective surgery. Knee reconstruction surgery or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair are common examples of such surgeries. They must be carried out for the patient to be able to work again, but they’re not emergencies. Typically, the wait time for orthopedic elective surgeries in public hospitals varies between 50 to 150 days or more. However, some conditions may warrant months or years of waiting before the surgery is carried out.

Some common elective orthopedic procedures include:

Ligament surgery

  • In the knee—anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction
  • Around the ankle
  • Around the shoulder (sometimes called shoulder stabilization surgery)

Bone realignment

  • Bunionectomy (removing a bunion)
  • Limb lengthening or shortening
  • High tibial osteotomy

Removal of loose bodies from joints

  • Arthroscopy of a joint such as the knee, hip, or shoulder

Releasing pressure on nerves

  • Carpal tunnel
  • Spinal laminectomy (may include a fusion)
  • Spinal discectomy

No matter the procedure that is being carried out, it makes sense to find out as much information as possible about the process. Before your appointment, you can research and note down questions that you have about your surgery and the recovery process after it is completed. This way, you’ll know the important things to discuss with your health professional.

Preparing for surgery

To improve your chances of a successful outcome, you should do all you can to be as fit and strong as possible before your surgery. Some of the things you can do to get ready for surgery include

  • Stay as active as you can (if you have difficulty moving around, consider alternatives such as water exercises)
  • If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight ahead of your surgery is recommended
  • Quit smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Take actions to boost your muscle strength (maintain cardiovascular fitness and keep your joint as mobile as possible)
  • Eat well (malnourished people are more likely to develop surgery complications)

Tips to help you recover from surgery

After a successful operation, doctors usually offer advice regarding exercise and physical activity. The common advice in many cases is to rest and refrain from physical activity. However, some types of surgery exercise as part of the post-surgery recovery process. These exercises are often recommended to prevent blood clots, deep brain thrombosis, and similar complications. Wearing support stockings to aid blood circulation may also be required in some cases.

How can Physiotherapy help me pre and post-surgery?

Part of the responsibilities of a physiotherapist is to provide advice and education about your operation and its likely impact on your life. They can also help educate you about the things you can do to improve your chances of a positive outcome.

Some of the things a physiotherapist can assist you with prior to and after your operation include:

Cardiovascular exercises

Cardio routines such as walking, jogging, and water exercise help you stay active and fit ahead of your surgery.

Strengthening exercises

Strengthening exercises target your bones and joints and provide extra support for them. This type of exercise can be a little difficult to do so Physiotherapists only recommend the ones that will be most convenient and likely to help.

Range of motion exercises

Range of motion exercises are aimed at improving joint movement. The goal is to help achieve joint flexibility, pain reduction, and balance by moving your joints through the full range of their motion.

Stretching exercises

Stretching exercises are meant to relieve muscle tightness and reduce discomfort in painful joints by boosting the range of your joints and muscles.

In addition to these exercises, your physiotherapist will also help identify complementary treatments such as walking aids, braces, massage, ice, and heat that you can use to manage pain and improve daily function as you recover.

How effective is physiotherapy pre and post-surgery?

To aid recovery after surgery, orthopedic surgeons often recommend physiotherapy to patients. This has been shown to be beneficial for decreasing pain and speeding up the recovery of the joints and muscles.


Do you have any questions about physiotherapy and how it can benefit you before and after your surgery, call the nearest PhysioCare clinic to book a session.