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Post -Operative Rehab

Post-operative rehab, also known as post-surgical rehabilitation.


Surgeries that need post-operative rehab

There are many types of surgeries that may require post-operative rehab. Some of the most common types include:

  • Total Hip Replacement
  • Total Knee Replacement
  • Total Shoulder Replacement
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Discectomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Laminectomy
  • Vertebroplasty
  • Fracture Repairs
  • Heart bypass surgery
  • Valve replacement,
  • Hysterectomy
  • Pelvic floor repair


The need for post-operative rehab will depend on the individual patient and the specific surgical procedure they have undergone. In general, any surgery that impacts a patient’s mobility, strength, or function may require some form of post-operative rehabilitation.


Physiotherapy's role in post-operative rehab

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in post-operative rehab as it helps patients to regain mobility, strength, and function after surgery. Here are some ways physiotherapy may be involved in post-operative rehab:

  • Education and advice: Physiotherapists can educate patients about proper body mechanics, postural awareness, and safe movement strategies to prevent further injury or complications during the recovery process.
  • Pain management: Physiotherapists may use various techniques such as ice, heat, and electrical stimulation to help manage pain and reduce inflammation following surgery.
  • Manual therapy: Physiotherapists may use hands-on techniques such as massage, joint mobilization, and manipulation to help improve range of motion, reduce pain, and facilitate healing.
  • Exercise therapy: Physiotherapists design exercise programs tailored to the individual patient’s needs, which may include range-of-motion exercises, stretching, strengthening exercises, and balance training.
  • Gait training: For patients who have undergone lower limb surgery, such as joint replacement, physiotherapists may help with gait training, which involves teaching patients how to walk properly using assistive devices if necessary.
  • Assistive devices: Physiotherapists may recommend and assist patients in using assistive devices such as crutches, walkers, canes, or braces to help support them during the rehabilitation process.
  • Functional training: Physiotherapists may help patients regain functional abilities that were affected by surgery, such as getting in and out of bed, standing up from a chair, or walking up and down stairs.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation: For patients who have undergone cardiothoracic surgery, physiotherapists may provide pulmonary rehabilitation to help with breathing exercises, chest physiotherapy, and respiratory muscle training.
  • Scar management: Physiotherapists may use techniques such as massage, mobilization, and stretching to help manage scars, reduce pain and sensitivity, and improve tissue flexibility.
  • Return to sport/work: For patients who have undergone surgery due to a sports injury or work-related injury, physiotherapists may design specific programs to help them return to their sports or work activities safely and efficiently.


Overall, the role of physiotherapy in post-operative rehab is to help patients regain their physical function and independence, reduce pain, and prevent further complications or injuries. By working closely with patients and other members of the healthcare team, physiotherapists can play a vital role in facilitating recovery and improving overall outcomes.

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