What Is Post Operative Rehabilitation?

The post-surgical program of re-establishing joint mobility, muscle control around the joint, and eventually joint function is recovery. The reality that recovery is a long process is also important to consider. Although the surgery is completed within hours, it takes several months to rehabilitate, possibly up to a year. The disparity between the duration of the operation and the time necessary for recovery is large, and that should be clearly taken into account by patients.

For example, if the patient undergoes knee, ankle or shoulder cartilage surgery, by whatever route, they should be informed that they need a long recovery time.

Therefore, it is very important that the patient is committed to the whole procedure. The timeframe of one year for recovery, however, should also be taken into account as an indication of the amount of time required relative to the hours of surgery. A large number of factors depend on the actual time period required.

The second significant argument is that recovery is an undertaking that is progressive. In this sense,’ progression’ implies safely increasing workloads and triggers during the healing phase on the repaired joint.

The third argument is that, since they do not regenerate by themselves, the tissues need to be stimulated.

After cartilage surgery, it is necessary to properly stimulate the extremity and joint. This is a very complicated process, biologically, because we need to let the tissue mature. The mechanism could be compared to baking bread. Before you can put it in the oven, you have to wait for the dough to show (rise). It’s the same with cartilage-you have to wait for some time to assist the biological process, and stimulation is required for that process. A protected range of movement and exercise is the correct stimulus.

As a consequence, at the right moment, the center of recovery is performing the right workouts, with the proper balance between not enough and too much exercise. Thus, in this period of recovery, neither full rest nor sporting activities are advisable. Something’s needed in the middle. During the weeks and months after surgery, that equilibrium shifts. In fact, what this means is that the duration of the stimulus gradually increases.

How long will the whole rehabilitation process take?

There is a projection of the average time they take for each of the four questions mentioned above. What is crucial to remember is that the time won’t be the same for each patient. It relies on so many different things that it’s hard to say it’s going to take 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, or even 12 months.

This is why the individual qualifications for and traffic light are so important to understand. For the first traffic light, the average is maybe 1 or 2 months, while for the second traffic light, it could be 3 or 4 months. It’s maybe 6-9 months for the third traffic light and 1 year for the last one.

Depending on the patient, however, this will vary, and there is not one law for all. There is a continuum of time for both, but depending on the type of operation that has been done, it depends on the willingness of the particular patient to follow the requirements and get the okay from the surgeon.

Are You Looking for Post Operative Rehabilitation? 

Pace Physical Therapy in San Jose, California specializes in Post Operative Rehabilitation and recovery therapies.  We pride ourselves on offering the best possible physical therapy available and going above and beyond for our patients. Our highly experienced physical therapist will work with you to improve your function and relieve your pain. At Pace Physical Therapy, individualized post-surgical recovery not only minimizes your pain and speeds up the healing time, but it can also decrease the chances of postoperative complications, including infections, bleeding, blood clots, muscle fatigue, scar tissue, reduced function, and other factors that can affect your long-term health negatively. The ability to help you minimize or fully stop prescribed painkillers, including opioids, is another important justification for choosing post-surgical physical therapy. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!