Why is physical therapy (post-injury rehab) so important after surgery

Why are Physical Therapy and Post-Injury Rehab So Important After Surgery?

Once you’ve had surgery, recovery is priority number one. While everyone’s recovery takes different paths, post-injury rehab can help patients regain mobility and return to normal routines. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends physical therapy to help fully recover from surgery.1 Ignoring this crucial step can hinder recovery.

As we take a look at the benefits of physical therapy after surgery, we’ll also let you know how Santé can deliver your post-injury rehab needs.

Types of Surgery That Physical Therapy Can Help

Physical therapy can be beneficial after a variety of surgeries or injuries. These include:

Back Surgery

Supervised physical therapy is important due to a back surgery’s potential severity and delicate nature. Gentle stretches will allow patients to work up to different types of activities.

Joint Replacement Surgery

The National Institutes of Health recommends physical therapy for knee, hip, and shoulder replacement surgeries. 2 This will help patients regain mobility more quickly.

Heart Surgery

Physical therapy after heart surgery can prevent complications. It’s important that initial movements are low-impact and supervised to prevent any post-op injuries.

ACL and Meniscus Repair

Patients can heal faster after ACL and meniscus repair surgery with physical therapy.

Benefits of Physical Therapy After Surgery

Physical therapy has several benefits as patients recover from surgery.

Improves Flexibility and Mobility

Regular physical therapy after surgery can help you regain strength, mobility, and flexibility. If surgery has made you immobile for some time, it’s important to have a physical therapist to help you slowly move again and return to your usual standard of movement.

Reduces Scar Tissue

Internal scar tissue can reduce mobility and become painful. Physical therapy can help to prevent scar tissue from developing and soften any scar tissue that forms. This helps to improve flexibility and reduce pain.

Eases Pain and Inflammation

While some may think physical therapy will only cause more pain, the opposite is true. Physical movement post-surgery can help to reduce swelling, inflammation, and stiffness that can set in. Reducing inflammation and restoring muscle function can help to ease your pain.

Promotes Healing

Physical therapy helps to promote healing by increasing blood flow to the surgical area. Improving circulation helps to reduce inflammation and speed up the recovery process.

Fall Prevention

Physical therapy can help prevent falling and other injuries as you regain strength after surgery.

Common Post-Surgery Physical Therapy Exercises

Your physical therapy plan will be tailored to the type of surgery you’ve had and your individual needs. Some common post-surgery exercises include knee extensions, strengthening and stretching exercises, walking, and low-impact cardiovascular movements.

It’s important to go at your own pace and not overdo it. This can set you back as you recover from surgery rather than improve your health.

Let Santé Help with Your Post-Injury Rehab

Santé offers post-injury rehab through either short-term skilled nursing and rehabilitation or outpatient physical therapy at all four locations in Mesa, Chandler, Surprise, and North Scottsdale. Whether you are going home from the hospital right after your surgery or are going to Santé Short-Term Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, you can benefit from our physical therapy services.

For more information on our physical therapy programs and how they can benefit you, call us today or reach out online to learn more.


[1] https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/recovery/?topic=RecoveryFromSurgery
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3382414/


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