When someone is informed that the best option for their chronic pain or mobility issues is to have surgery, it’s often hard for them to hear. They know that their knees are causing them unbearable pain and that it’s getting harder to walk, but they’re still not thrilled about having someone cut into them and replace their knees with metal. Of course, not everyone who is informed that they need surgery to improve their mobility and relieve their pain is in need of knee surgery. Some people need surgery on their backs, some need it on their hips, some on their elbows or shoulder, and sometimes people even need surgery to repair a torn muscle like a quad or hamstring. The point here is that regardless of what type of surgery a patient needs, it’s traumatic for most people to be told that surgery is their best option. People get anxious thinking about it, and most people don’t like the idea of having a portion of their body repaired or replaced via someone cutting them open and operating on them.
To be sure, there’s a mental hurdle that a lot of people have to jump to get ready for their surgery. However, the surgery itself actually isn’t that bad. After all, the patient gets knocked out with anesthesia, and it’s the surgeon who ends up doing all of the work. It’s really after the surgery, or during the “post op” as it’s known, that the work for the patient begins.
It all starts when the patient wakes up and is in some pretty serious pain and discomfort. The surgeon and doctor will recommend some form of pain killer, but a lot of times these make patients sick or kind of out of it. Thus, a lot of people will try and get off of them as soon as they can. After about a week or so, the real work for the patient begins. This is when they start their orthopedic rehabilitation with their physical therapist. They will go and meet with their physical therapist a few times a week, and this PT will lead them through a series of exercises and activities that are aimed at helping them rehab and strengthen the part of their body that just went through the surgery. The physical therapist will come up with an individual and customized treatment plan to help the patient strengthen the portion of their body that was repaired and that will help them regain their mobility.
Post op rehab is quite hard for a lot of patients. It means pushing through some pain, and you have to go consistently to get the kind of results you’re looking for. On top of that, it often takes the body a long time to heal from a surgery, so you could be going to orthopedic rehab for months before you really start to feel better. It’s hard work, but if you go consistently, then physical therapists like those at Colorado Orthopedic Rehabilitation Specialists can help you get your body to a place where you actually feel quite a bit better than you did before your surgery. After all, the point of surgery is to get you feeling better than you were. Orthopedic rehabilitation is a key aspect of treatment to get you there.