orthopedic surgery

Role of Physiotherapy in Recovery after Orthopedic Surgery

The field of orthopedics specializes in the treatment of the musculoskeletal system, encompassing muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons. Orthopedic surgeons, also known as orthopedists, employ both surgical and non-surgical techniques to address a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, including sports injuries, joint pain, and back problems. With their extensive training and expertise, orthopedic surgeons provide comprehensive care, aiming to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance overall musculoskeletal health. Their interventions, whether surgical or non-invasive, physiotherapy play a crucial role in helping patients regain function and enhance their quality of life by providing personalized physio treatment plans according to client’s needs.

What is orthopedic surgery?

Orthopedics also referred to as orthopedic surgery, is a medical field specializing in the treatment of the skeletal system and its interconnected components, such as bones, muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Within this field, there are two main categories of specialists: surgical orthopedists, known as orthopedic surgeons, and nonsurgical orthopedists, including physiatrists and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists. They collectively focus on providing comprehensive care for musculoskeletal conditions and injuries.

Common types of orthopedic surgery

ACL surgery:

ACL surgery is a procedure that repairs or reconstructs the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. The ACL, a crucial soft-tissue structure connecting the femur to the tibia, often gets partially or completely torn, especially among athletes.

Hip replacement surgery:

The hip joint, composed of a ball and socket, experiences considerable degeneration over time. Hip replacement surgery is a prevalent orthopedic procedure for older adults, involving the replacement of worn-out cartilage with an artificial ball and socket components made of metal or plastic.

Wrist and hand surgery:

Due to their constant use in everyday tasks, the hands and wrists are susceptible to injuries, arthritis, and degeneration. Orthopedic surgery offers solutions for conditions such as fractures, dislocations, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome, aiming to restore function and relieve pain in these essential areas.

Shoulder Replacement Surgery:

Shoulder replacement surgery replaces damaged shoulder joint parts with prostheses, relieving pain and enhancing function. It aids in pain relief, strength improvement, and increased arm and shoulder flexibility. Common reasons include osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tear arthropathy, avascular necrosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Knee replacement or arthroscopic surgery:

Total knee replacement surgery replaces the entire knee joint with metal components, while partial replacement only replaces damaged parts. Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure using a tiny camera to diagnose and correct minor knee issues.

Spinal surgeries:

Persistent back pain may necessitate considering spinal surgery, although non-surgical options are available for most cases. If severe pain, abnormalities, or unresponsiveness to conservative treatment occur, evaluation by specialists is recommended. Treatment, including minimally invasive procedures like caudal epidural block or surgeries such as microdiscectomy and spinal decompression, will be based on pain patterns and diagnostic reports.

How Does Physiotherapy Help After An Orthopaedic Surgery?

Physical therapy after surgery has two main goals: restoring mobility and managing pain. However, it offers several other benefits as well:

  • Preventing blood clots: Movement during physical therapy helps prevent the formation of blood clots in the affected area.
  • Strengthening tissues and muscles: Surgery can weaken tissues and muscles, but physiotherapy helps strengthen and rehabilitate them.
  • Boosting independence and confidence: Physical therapy empowers patients, giving them a sense of independence and confidence in their ability to perform daily activities.

Why is physiotherapy after surgery important?

Physiotherapy after surgery is vital as it plays a crucial role in restoring mobility, managing pain, preventing complications, and promoting healing. It helps prevent blood clot formation, strengthens weakened tissues and muscles, and instills a sense of independence and confidence in patients. By addressing these aspects, physiotherapy significantly contributes to the overall success of the surgical recovery process, improving the patient’s quality of life and facilitating a faster return to normal activities.

5 Common Rehabilitation Exercises

1. Hip extension in the supine position:

Supine hip extension is an exercise performed while lying on your back. It involves extending one leg straight out while keeping the other leg bent. This exercise targets the muscles in the hips and buttocks, helping to improve strength, stability, and flexibility in that area.

2. Stretching the hamstrings:

The hamstring stretch is a stretching exercise that targets the muscles at the back of the thigh. It involves extending one leg straight out while keeping the other leg bent, then reaching towards the extended leg to feel a gentle stretch in the hamstring muscles. This exercise helps improve flexibility and prevent tightness in the hamstrings.

3. Raise your legs straight: 

The straight-leg raise is an exercise where one lies on their back and lifts one leg upward while keeping it straight. This exercise primarily engages the muscles in the front of the thigh (quadriceps) and the hip flexors. It helps improve leg strength, stability, and flexibility.

4. Balance and Coordination Exercises: 

These exercises help improve balance and coordination, which are often affected after surgery or injury. They may include activities like standing on one leg, using balance boards, or performing specific coordination tasks.

5. Functional Exercises: 

These exercises mimic everyday activities to enhance the ability to perform daily tasks. They may involve tasks like getting up from a chair, climbing stairs, or lifting and carrying objects.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the recovery after orthopedic surgery. It not only focuses on restoring mobility and managing pain but also addresses other vital aspects such as preventing blood clots, strengthening weakened tissues, and boosting patient confidence and independence. By employing a combination of targeted exercises and techniques, physiotherapy promotes healing, prevents complications, and enhances overall well-being. For professional guidance and personalized rehabilitation programs, consider consulting Proremedy, a trusted clinic of physiotherapy in Streetsville.

Physiotherapist Arpan Hundal

Physiotherapist Arpan Hundal

Arpan has been practicing as a physiotherapist since 2010, starting her career in a trauma center in India where she worked with post-traumatic and post-operative cases. She moved to Canada and continued her independent practice, specializing in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic issues, sports injuries, and pelvic health physiotherapy. She has experience dealing with MVA and WSIB clients and has been working in the Mississauga community since 2015.

Physiotherapist Arpan Hundal

Physiotherapist Arpan Hundal

Arpan has been practicing as a physiotherapist since 2010, starting her career in a trauma center in India where she worked with post-traumatic and post-operative cases. She moved to Canada and continued her independent practice, specializing in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic issues, sports injuries, and pelvic health physiotherapy. She has experience dealing with MVA and WSIB clients and has been working in the Mississauga community since 2015.

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