Welcome back to the final piece of our three-part series on what to expect following your surgery. In the past few weeks, we’ve looked at a few things to make sure to ask your care providers prior to your discharge, some tips for getting along at home, and a few of the different very important allied health individuals who you’ll probably visit with at some point in your surgical journey. Today we’re going to take a bit of time to explore the world of physical therapy – both in the inpatient setting and the outpatient setting.
Inpatient physical therapy may very well start prior to your procedure with a visit from the physical therapy team. They’ll assess your needs in terms of getting around and what not and help to devise a plan to get you moving after surgery, too. Should you stay in the hospital for any amount of time after your surgery, you may see the folks from physical therapy anywhere from once a day to multiple times per day. Many facilities have PT “classes” where those who’ve just undergone hip replacement or knee replacement get together as a group and do certain stretches and exercises. Family members/caregivers are often encouraged to attend these as well so that they can get a good feel for some of the things the patient should – and should not – be doing once at home.
Outpatient physical therapy occurs once you’ve been discharged. Depending on what type of surgery you had, your orthopedic surgeon may want you to start PT immediately, or wait a few weeks before you begin. It may not seem like it, but physical therapy is vital in helping patients to regain strength and mobility and to help them lead as pain-free of life as possible. Proper body mechanics are taught, exercises are performed, and ‘homework’ is given for the patient to do each day while at home. Your physician will work with the physical therapists to determine how many weeks – and how many times per week – you will need to attend physical therapy. One thing to keep in mind as you go through this journey is that the benefits of physical therapy are not seen after just a session or a week of sessions. Physical therapy builds upon itself – day by day and week by week – to help get you to your end goal.
Here at Prairie Orthopaedic, we have our very own “in-house” physical therapy which allows our orthopedic surgeons and PT’s to work closely and in a truly collaborative fashion to help determine the best plan of care for you, our patient!