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What is Pre- and Post-Operative Physical Therapy?

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Orthopedic surgery is sometimes a medical necessity – it's the only thing that will eventually get you back on your feet. But it is still physically taxing, and recovery can be lengthy and painful. So patients who need surgery for orthopedic injuries are justified in feeling anxious about it. An important way to make the process easier is seeking pre- and post-operative physical therapy.

At JAG PT, our pre- and post-operative therapy programs are ready to help you prepare for surgery with greater peace of mind, and to guide you to making a faster and better recovery.

What is Pre-operative Physical Therapy?

The purpose of pre-operative physical therapy is to get a patient more ready for surgery. Of course, this can mean meeting a large number of needs. The better physically and mentally prepared you are for an operation, the better your outcome will be.

If you're going in for any surgery that will require post-operative physical therapy, pre-operative PT will benefit you. Partial and total joint replacements, stress fractures, tendinitis surgery, and meniscus repairs are a few examples of these types of operations.

Physical therapy as part of pre-operative care can make joints more flexible, meaning it'll be easier to return to regular movement after surgery. It can also improve circulation at the targeted area of the body, which goes a long way in the healing process.

What is Post-operative Physical Therapy?

Post-operative physical therapy aims to get a patient who's undergone surgery healed and back to their regular level of functioning. A physical therapist will help a patient who needs post-operative PT to cope with pain, rebuild muscle and joint strength and stability, and overall assist in their recovery.

JAG PT specializes in physical therapy care following total hip and knee replacements, arthroscopic repairs, bone fracture repairs, and surgery for intervertebral disc issues, among many others. Our physical therapists understand that following your surgery, you want and need to be mobile. We'll come up with a customized plan for your needs that may include isometric exercises, gait training with assistive devices, assistance in standing, sitting, and movement, and other interventions that may be right for you.

How Long Does Physical Therapy Last After Surgery?

Every surgery and every patient is different – but similar techniques can help the healing process in most or all cases. For example, after meniscus repair, your doctor may recommend you receive physical therapy for four to eight weeks, but this amount might be less for a minor arthroscopic procedure or more for a total hip replacement.

In general, you'll have physical therapy appointments for a few weeks to a few months after surgery. But the healing process does not stop there. It's important to apply what you've learned in physical therapy for the rest of the healing process, which can take multiple months or years, depending on the types of tissue that are affected. Keeping active in the right ways, being aware of your body and your limitations, and correct use of exercises, devices, and medications you may have been prescribed will ensure your healing is as fast, easy, and complete as can be.

To schedule a pre- or post-operative appointment at one of our over 100 JAG PT locations nearest you, book an appointment or reach out to our team today.

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