Post-Surgical Rehab River Edge, NJ

Post-Surgical Rehab

Are you scheduled to have a surgical procedure soon? Among the many things you need to do to prepare is to your doctor about scheduling your post-surgical rehabilitation!

What Is the Importance of Rehab After Surgery?

No matter what type of surgery you’re recovering from—from joint replacements to a heart valve replacement—undergoing rehab after surgery with a physical therapist is essential to maximize your physical potential, accelerate your recovery, and help you get the most out of the highly skilled interventions provided by your surgical team.

No matter how minimally invasive a surgical procedure is, it still causes trauma to your body. While your body is healing, you’ll likely experience challenges like pain, inflammation, and swelling. You may also have newfound difficulty with daily tasks like dressing, standing, and walking. You may even have specific instructions from your surgeon on things to do or things not to do in order to protect your healing surgical site and prevent complications.

For example, if you’ve had surgery to correct a broken bone in your leg, your doctor may tell you to be “non-weight bearing” or “partial weight bearing” for several weeks. If you’ve had a hip replacement, your doctor may require you to follow “posterior hip precautions.” If you’ve undergone surgical repair of a torn rotator cuff, your doctor may want you to restrict movement at your shoulder.

What do these precautions and restrictions mean? How can you learn to function in your daily life while complying with such restrictions? How might these restrictions affect your body (e.g., weakening of muscles due to disuse), and how can you minimize, prevent, or reverse these effects?

These are important questions and further show why working with a physical therapist for rehab after surgery is so critical.

Above all, post-surgical rehabilitation is an evidence-based, drug-free, and non-invasive way to regain your strength, balance, flexibility, and function following any type of surgery. Research even shows that physical therapy can reduce the amount of pain medication a person needs to use!

What to Expect From Post-Surgical Rehabilitation With a Physical Therapist

Physical therapists are experts of the human body who diagnose and treat a wide number of conditions. In post-surgical rehabilitation, physical therapists are key team members who can implement plans of care with the goal to:

  • Reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation
  • Accelerate wound healing and minimize scarring
  • Improve circulation, range of motion, and strength
  • Restore your functional mobility (your ability to move around in your environment and participate in activities, such as climbing stairs, and getting in and out of a car)

Depending on your unique needs, a physical therapist may also help you adapt to new changes in your body or learn how to use certain tools and adaptive equipment (such as crutches, incentive spirometers, or braces).

At your first post-surgical evaluation, your physical therapist will review your medical history and any relevant documentation from your surgeon. He or she will examine your surgical site, as well as other aspects of your health including strength, balance, blood pressure, heart rate, pain level, range of motion, and cognition. Finally, you and your physical therapist will go over your goals.

Based on all this information, your physical therapist will design and implement a customized plan of care and employ a variety of exercises and techniques to help you achieve your goals:

Your physical therapist will periodically make reports on your progress and adjust your plan of care as necessary to ensure you’re progressing well. When your rehabilitation program is complete, your physical therapist will write a summary of your care and give you instructions and recommendations about things which will help you continue to progress (e.g., nutrition, stress management, sleep, exercise program, etc.).

How Long Does Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Take?

The amount of time you’ll spend in physical therapy rehabilitation depends on many complex factors, including age, overall health, type of surgery, and whether you experienced any complications.

In many cases, a person goes from the operating room to the rehab room within a matter of days or even hours. Common protocols range from two to seven times per week and for two weeks to three months or more. You may need physical therapy more frequently early on in the recovery period and less frequently as you go on. Therapy can happen in a hospital, an inpatient rehab facility, an outpatient clinic, or even in your own home.

No matter what your unique protocol looks like, patience and consistency is the key while you allow your body to heal.

A Physical Therapist Can Help You Before and After Your Surgery

Strong evidence shows that consulting with a physical therapist both before and after surgery can reduce your risk of complications and drastically improve your overall outcome. Even just a few pre-operative sessions can be effective for helping you prepare your body for the operation.

Do you have a surgery ahead of you? Contact us at River Edge, NJ center today to set up an appointment and learn more about how we can help you get the most out of your procedure.

MEET OUR THERAPISTS

They just make work a pleasure.

Michelle Ribustello,

I came to Back to Health in 2015 from a skilled nursing facility and it's been great being able to work with my patients in their home, helping them in their own environment. It's much more rewarding to be able to see them function independently by the time you are finished with them and they are discharged. Working for Back to Health has also been great. I am a new mom so scheduling has been phenomenal. Your patients are very flexible, the office is super flexible, and they just make work a pleasure.

It feels so good to love my job each and every day!

Jodi McLean,

Back to Health gives me the opportunity to see patients in the clinic setting and in their homes. I love the connection I am able to make with my patients and their families as they welcome me into their homes. This is the most flexible, rewarding, stress-free job anyone could ever ask for as an occupational therapist. It feels so good to love my job each and every day!

Back To Health is the best PT job that I have ever had.

Patricia Verdote,

Back To Health is the best PT job that I have ever had. I am able to treat the patients the way that I want to treat, the way that I believe will be the best level of care for the patient in their own environment. I helped one patient learn how to get up off of their favorite chair in their living room – and that is not something that I have ever had the chance to do before!

You couldn't ask for anything better.

Melissa Stawinski,

I feel really lucky to be able to work for Back to Health Physical Therapy. It's allowed me to really tap into why I became an OT in the first place. Working in people's homes, in their environment, identifying what's meaningful to them, and helping them achieve their goals; you couldn't ask for anything better.

It is such a fun time and I look forward to working with you!

Jill Chroback,

The reason I love working for Back to Health is not only for working with such a wonderful staff, we have some great therapists and administrators working here, but also working with patients in their own environment so we are able to do a lot in actual situations and we have seen some great progress. It is such a fun time and I look forward to working with you!

This has been the best, professional, ethical group I have ever worked with.

Diane Hennion,

I have been working for Back to Health for three years now and out of my whole career, this has been the best, professional, ethical group I have ever worked with. They are friendly, warm and very intent on providing the best outcome and care for their individual clients.

I honestly look forward to "going to work" with Back to Health.

Stephanie Spada,

I love working at Back to Health as it allows me the flexibility to be both a hands-on involved mom to an amazing six-year-old little boy as well as a working professional. I am able to provide quality one-on-one quality care to my patient's in the comfort of their own home. I honestly look forward to "going to work" with Back to Health. They are a caring, dedicated group of special people who truly want the best for their patients!!

The flexibility is priceless to me.

Jill Friedbauer,

It was very difficult for me to find a PT position where I could send my kids off to school in the morning and to also be home to greet them when they come home in the afternoon. That flexibility is priceless to me. My patients have made a tremendous level of progress – even more than I have seen in clinical environments – which is really rewarding. I love working with Back To Health so much that I have referred clinicians that I have worked with in the past to join their team!

The most emotional and financially rewarding position that I have ever had.

Yvette Jain-Nafpliotis,

I have been working with Back To Health since 2006 and it has been the most emotional and financially rewarding position that I have ever had. The patients are so grateful for the services and I truly can see their progress in a very direct way.