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What is Post-Operative Rehabilitation?

Posted by Mountainstate Orthopedic Associates

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Jul 27, 2016 9:00:00 AM

One very important aspect of the recovery from an operative procedure is the post-operative rehabilitation period. What is post-operative rehabilitation?  This is the single most important factor in determining the success of an orthopedic surgery.

Reaching certain rehabilitation goals and milestones is a very important factor to obtain the best possible outcome. While some minor procedures will require no formal physical therapy, most orthopedic surgeries will involve some degree of post-operative rehabilitation. This most commonly occurs in the setting of in-patient or out-patient physical therapy with a certified physical therapist.


What Type of Therapy do You Need?

The type and duration of therapy will vary in according to both surgeon preference and the procedure that has been performed. It’s important that patients understand and discuss this post-operative rehab course with their physician prior to undergoing any surgical procedure.

Many minor procedures, such as a simple knee or shoulder scope or simple fracture fixation will have a relatively short speedy rehabilitation course. Other procedures will have a more extended rehab period with more intense physical therapy both with a therapist as well as at home. Examples of procedures that require longer periods of rehab include ACL reconstruction, rotator cuff repair, total hip and total knee replacement.


Total Rehab Period

What is Post Operative Rehabilitation?The total rehab period for some of these procedures may last three to four months or more. Patients should understand that the physical therapy will significantly improve their function and pain in the long term and help them to obtain the outcome they desire.

This process, while it can be challenging at times, gets easier as the recovery period moves along. Many patients come to enjoy their physical therapy sessions, develop strong relationship with their therapist, and finish up their rehabilitation process feeling stronger and in better shape than they ever have.

Since completing my fellowship at the Andrews Research and Education Foundation, I had the opportunity to learn from one of the most renowned orthopedic sports surgeons, James Andrews.  He taught me that:

"Any success I've had as a surgeon is due in large part to having a good therapist and trainers around me who adequately rehabilitate my patients post-operatively."

The same holds true for all of us in the field of orthopedic surgery. The surgery itself is only one small part in the entire spectrum of taking care of patients and getting them fully healed from surgery.  Post-operative rehabilitation is vital in the success of that process.


Mountainstate Orthopedic Associates

Our Morgantown orthopedic surgeons at Mountainstate Orthopedic Associates have been providing cutting-edge orthopedic care to Morgantown and North Central West Virginia since 1977.  

If you think you may need an ACL reconstruction, rotator cuff repair, total hip and total knee replacement or shoulder replacement surgery, call us today.  No referral necessary.  304-599-0720

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Topics: Post Operative Rehabilitation