What's Involved with Post-Operative Rehabilitation?

A wide variety of injuries and other conditions make surgery necessary, and among the 10 most common surgeries are several procedures that require some form of physical rehabilitation. Joint replacements, broken bone repair, and other surgeries mean not just time for recovery and home care, but the need to restore strength and overall function to the areas treated. 

If you live in the Hagerstown, Maryland, area and you’ve had surgery that needs rehabilitation, Dr. Christopher Clark and Premier Spine and Sports Medicine are here to help you get on the path to full recovery. We’re committed to giving you the best care through a variety of methods at our disposal designed to provide you the greatest opportunity to heal at your own pace.

Let’s look at the important steps involved in post-operative rehabilitation that will help you get back in shape at full strength. Here’s what’s involved in rehabilitation after surgery:

Post surgical recovery

Regardless of what kind of surgery you have, once it’s done, the focus needs to be on healing the wound and the swelling, irritation, and pain associated with it. The first stage consists of coping with the initial pain and avoiding things that could complicate recovery. 

This includes reducing stress on the treated area, eating and drinking properly, avoiding infections, and keeping your follow-up appointments. You will need to start moving, but don’t start too quickly, or you might risk opening stitches and slowing down the healing process. Proper care at this stage will make the rest of the process that much easier.

Reducing pain

Depending on the procedure, you may expect to experience muscle pain, movement pain, or pain from the swelling and irritation common after many surgeries. When moderating pain, it’s important to follow your pain specialist’s instructions and understand the benefits and risks of the various prescription and over-the-counter medications available. 

There are many ways to reduce pain without medication, including using ice and heat therapy, and getting proper rest. When you’re ready for more physical exercises, we can help you get stronger and reduce pain with low-impact regimens such as swimming and walking. 

Restoring strength, reflexes, and motion

As mentioned previously, low-impact exercises are important to naturally ease your body into more strenuous routines. Over time you will work up to more challenging regimens to increase stability, motion, and strength. 

The key to reaching normal function after surgery is the proper use of physical work that caters to the needs of your specific injury without stressing or aggravating it. And we offer a variety of ways to give you the right tools to recover properly with as little pain as possible.

Getting back to normal function

Functional training, which consists of both clinic-based and sports-specific activities will help you get through the final stages of rehabilitation, customized to fit your particular needs. These activities can include joint-angle specific strengthening, velocity specific muscle activity, or other exercises to enhance neuromuscular control. 

With months of gradual, targeted work, we will give you both the strength and conditioning necessary to reach the goal of getting back to your pre-operation activities.

If you need to get back into shape after surgery, it will take time; but we can get you back into the swing of things safely and with confidence. If you’re ready to start your road to recovery from surgery, call our office or book an appointment online with Dr. Clark today. 

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