If you are considering having surgery, seeing a physiotherapist can help. Physiotherapy is also recommended in the post-operative rehabilitation of most surgery for musculoskeletal disorders. These include post shoulder surgery, spinal surgery, hip, knee and ankle surgery. Pain, swelling, reduced movement and strength are just some of the symptoms post-surgery that a physiotherapist can help you with to improve your function. While most people see the benefit of having physiotherapy after surgery, they do not consider having physiotherapy before an operation. Pre-operative physiotherapy has been shown to improve surgical outcomes moderately after hip and knee joint replacement and after ACL reconstruction (see here).
Also to consider, for many conditions there is often an operative and non-operative treatment option available to you as a patient. The benefits and risks of both of these options should be discussed with you with a healthcare professional, whether it be a physiotherapist or an orthopedic specialist. In recent years the outcomes from physiotherapy rehabilitation has been shown to be as effective as many surgical procedures in conditions of the knee and shoulder for example (see here). Therefore, as the least invasive option with little risks associated perhaps before making a firm decision on surgery, come and have an assessment with one of our physiotherapists who will give you an honest opinion on whether rehabilitation is a valid option for you.
The aim is to increase your function prior to and after surgery. This is likely to include advice and education regarding pain, swelling and walking practice in the early stages. We will also aim to increase your body’s normal movement where possible to allow optimal function of your joints for normal daily activities. As you progress our aim would usually be to increase your strength, balance and coordination through prescribing an individualised exercise program. We will then give you advice regarding return to your normal pre-operative level of function and ways to reduce your chance of re-injury where possible. For more information take a look at our blog, "the low down on post-operative physio".