Finding out you need surgery can sometimes be scary.
Whether it’s a result of a sports injury, an accident, or just your body wearing down over time most people generally aren’t too keen to go under the knife.
And even when the surgery itself goes smoothly, recovery can be a full time job in and of itself.
At Capitol Physical Therapy in Washington DC we want to help you with your recovery, so you can get back to living your life as soon as possible.
We offer physical therapy services for recovery from a variety of common surgeries – and if the one you’re going through isn’t listed here, we can probably still help, just give us a call.
Next, we will take a look at some common surgeries, what to expect when you need them, and how physical therapy can help.
Physical Therapy For ACL Surgery Recovery
The shinbone’s connected to the thigh bone…
And your ACL is what connects them.
It also plays a role in how your knee joint works.
Generally, if you need surgery on the ACL, you will be going home the same day, so it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Before sending you home, your doctor will generally fit you for a splint or knee brace, and you’ll be instructed on basic first aid to help keep swelling down – this includes “RICE” or rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Two to three weeks after your surgery, you will be able to start putting weight on your knee again, and physical therapy can help you recover your strength.
Because ACL tears are often caused by sports injuries, physical therapy for these issues often involves some sports medicine.
Physical therapy for ACL surgery can last anywhere from two to six months.
If you’ve experienced an ACL tear, we can help. Book your appointment with Capitol Physical Therapy in DC today.
Physical Therapy For Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery
There are a few types of knee replacement surgery.
The most common is a total knee replacement, which is exactly what it sounds like – replacing the whole knee.
Bilateral knee replacement is when both knees are replaced at the same time, and partial knee replacement is when only the affected portion of the knee is replaced.
Knee replacements are an extremely common procedure, with over 700,000 being performed every year in the United States.
Typically recovery and rehabilitation from a total knee replacement takes approximately twelve weeks, and it begins the moment you wake up from surgery.
One of the most common reasons to get a knee replacement is to relieve pain. And when it gets bad enough for surgery to be an option, it’s usually a result of osteoarthritis, which tends to occur in senior citizens. As a result, physical therapy for recovery from knee surgery often falls under the purview of both physical therapy for seniors’ health and physical therapy for orthopedic health.
Generally, within the first day after your surgery, a physical therapist will have you up and walking with the assistance of devices such as a cane, crutches, or a walker.
Your physical therapist will help you learn to perform basic tasks like moving around and getting in and out of bed using these devices.
You may need assistance with things like bathing and changing the dressings on your wounds.
As your recovery progresses, your physical therapist will help you increase your activity levels as you gain back your strength and mobility.
Exercises you may be given to do can include toe and heel raises, step-ups, balancing on one leg, and using a stationary bike.
By the time three months have passed you will likely be able to do most activities which you were able to do before surgery, although it can take six to twelve months to return to full strength.
If you’ve recently had knee surgery, we can help. Book your appointment with Capitol Physical Therapy in DC today.
Physical Therapy For Hip Replacement Surgery Recovery
Hip replacement, also called arthroplasty, is a surgery in which the ball and socket of the hip joint is replaced with an artificial hip made from synthetic materials or metal.
This surgery is used to help alleviate the pain from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis, and also to restore range of motion.
It is generally only used as a last resort after attempting other methods for reducing pain, including:
- Weight management
- Pain medication
- Exercises and stretching
- physical therapy for pain management
- Walking aids such as canes or a walker
Starting physical therapy immediately after surgery is critical for expediting recovery and bettering outcomes.
In most cases after a hip replacement surgery you will need to remain in the hospital for one to three days. During this time, a physical therapist will show you the exercises and movements you’ll need to help your recovery.
Immediately after hip replacement surgery they’ll help you with basics such as sitting up, getting out of bed, and walking short distances.
Additionally, they’ll show you exercises to improve your range of motion and increase your strength.
When it’s time for you to be discharged from the hospital your physical therapist will give you exercises to continue to do at home.
They’ll also offer advice on things like precautions to take to ensure you don’t injure yourself further.
Once you go home, your physical therapist will continue to work with you to improve your strength and flexibility.
Some common exercises you may be asked to do include knee bends, ankle rotations, and ankle pumps.
Additionally walking is incredibly important for promoting recovery.
You’ll start with short walks of five to ten minutes and work up to walking for twenty to thirty minutes at a time.
It will generally take four to six weeks for you to begin to feel less pain as you move around and complete your daily tasks, and by three months you would be able to mostly resume your normal activities.
If you’ve recently had a hip replacement, physical therapy is important in getting you back to feeling great once more, and we can help. Book your appointment with Capitol Physical Therapy in DC today.
Physical Therapy For Spinal Surgery Recovery
If you need to undergo spinal surgery, a physical therapist will play an important role in helping you recover.
Your physical therapist will be important for helping with pain control, regaining strength, using exercise to reduce fatigue, as well as helping to educate you on recovery from your surgery.
Some of the ways a physical therapist may use to help you alleviate pain may include:
- Movement and exercises
- Electrical devices such as a TENS unit
- Changing how you move and position yourself
- Hot and cold therapy
They will also show you ways to improve strength, flexibility, and stability, with a focus on the small muscles surrounding the vertebrae, muscles around the incision, and muscles which may have been weakened by nerve damage.
Your spinal issues physical therapist will create a program designed specifically for you, based the specific surgery you have undergone and what will be the most beneficial for you.
Physical Therapy For Rehabilitation After Cancer Surgery
No one ever wants to receive a diagnosis of cancer.
Cancer treatments can be very tough on your body, and result in tiredness, chronic pain, and weakness.
Now combine the effects of cancer surgery with other treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy, it can be a very challenging time.
Having a trusted team of professionals you can rely on to help you through this time is incredibly important, and part of this team will be your physical therapist.
The role of your physical therapist will be to help you regain physical strength, endurance, flexibility, and mobility.
In addition, they can help you manage your pain and may be able to help manage the build up of fluids in your lymph nodes.
The length of time you will need rehabilitation after cancer surgery will depend on factors such as the how your cancer has affected your diet, exercise levels, and if fatigue is affecting your ability to function.
Your physical therapist will be a part of your treatment team, which can also include your physician, occupational therapist, and mental health counselor.
Book your appointment with Capitol Physical Therapy in DC today.
Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today
Have you recently learned you will need surgery for one of the conditions listed above?
Are you worried about how long it will take you to recover and for life to “get back to normal”?
Or maybe you are concerned about managing pain as you recover.
We’re Capitol Physical Therapy servicing Washington DC and the surrounding area.
We understand that finding out you need surgery can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be.
Get prepared by contacting us today, and start preparing for your surgery by speaking to a physical therapist to begin to work on your plan for recovery, before you go under the knife.
Chronic pain or an injury holding you back? Capitol Physical Therapy can help.
Book your free 15 minute consultation today