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The Importance of Physical Therapy After Orthopedic Surgery

The Importance of Physical Therapy After Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic surgeries like knee replacements or fracture repairs are meant to relieve chronic pain and immobility issues. However, you’ve got some recovery and rehabilitation to do before you can get back to your active lifestyle.

That’s where physical therapy comes into play. At Ortho San Antonio, orthopedic surgeon Cody Covington, MD, provides a wide range of orthopedic surgeries to address injuries or chronic diseases that affect your musculoskeletal system. If you undergo surgery, physical therapy is essential to your post-op plan. Here’s what you need to know.

What to know about physical therapy

Physical therapy describes services that assess and treat reduced physical function due to injuries, underlying health conditions, and disabilities. It focuses on improving your range of motion and quality of life through exercises and other interventions.

Heat and cold therapy

Heat and cold therapy reduces inflammation and relaxes muscles to lessen pain.

Light therapy

Light therapy uses lasers and special lights to treat soft tissue injuries and support your natural healing processes.

Electrical stimulation

Electrical stimulation uses currents of electricity to reduce pain and improve muscle health.

Your physical therapist works closely with you to assess your unique needs and create a personalized treatment plan, including exercises you can do during your session in our office and at home to further improve your musculoskeletal health and function.

How you benefit from physical therapy

Physical therapy offers multiple benefits during your recovery from surgery, but Dr. Covington may even refer you for physical therapy before considering you for surgery, depending on the type of orthopedic condition you have.

The benefits of physical therapy include the following:

Strength restoration

After surgery, you may experience pain and limited mobility, which can cost you some muscle strength. Without physical therapy, you may not recover your lost strength, putting you at increased risk for additional injuries.

Physical therapy exercises target the muscles and soft tissues that may have weakened after surgery. Your muscles may even become stronger than before surgery, helping you prevent new orthopedic injuries.

Increased mobility

Until your body heals, you may not have full function or range of motion at the surgery site.

You can speed up the healing process and increase your flexibility through a series of stretching and strengthening exercises that you learn in physical therapy. Your physical therapist also teaches you ways to lower your risk for additional injuries and pain.

Pain management

Physical therapy helps control post-surgical pain and reduces your reliance on pain medications.

Through physical therapy exercises, you can prevent stiffness in your joints. Therapies like electrical stimulation can also disrupt pain signals from traveling to your brain to improve your comfort and overall function.

Enhanced blood circulation

Healthy blood flow promotes healing from injuries and surgery, and physical therapy exercises improve your overall blood circulation, allowing more blood to reach the surgical site.

Increased blood flow lessens your pain and increases your risk for infection and other post-surgical complications.

Call the Ortho San Antonio office near you to find out if you’re a candidate for orthopedic surgery, or book an appointment online today. 

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