Post-Surgery Rehabilitation

As physiotherapists, a big part of our job is to ensure that patients who need surgery feel prepared and have their questions answered.

It’s normal to feel apprehensive, uncertain, or even scared about an upcoming surgery. But with the proper guidance and reassurance from your health care professionals, you should have a clear idea of what to expect.

Need Surgery and Not Sure What to Expect?

Preparing for Your Surgery

No matter what type of surgery you’re getting, you should consider preparing your body to help with optimal recovery.

“Prehab” is a form of therapy we offer that focuses on physically preparing the body for surgery.

The goals for prehab may include:

  • Increasing range of motion
  • Improving flexibility of muscle
  • Increasing strength and endurance of the muscles

Prehab should also mentally prepare you by educating you about any possible adverse effects from your surgery and explaining the rehabilitation process.

Muscle Atrophy and Swelling

Muscle atrophy refers to the loss of muscle mass. It can happen as a result of inactivity and swelling, which are expected after surgery.

Swelling commonly happens around the area of surgery as it is the way our body responds to inflammation.

The degree of muscle atrophy and swelling experienced will likely depend on a few factors, such as:

  • Type of surgery
  • Your pre-surgical level of fitness
  • Comorbidities
  • Presence of other health-related issues
  • Your unique body

It is essential to consult a therapist to determine what is within normal limits and what is considered abnormal.

Having a Pain Management System in Place

There is almost always some level of discomfort after the surgery, if not significant pain. The good news is that physiotherapy can use a variety of modalities to aid in pain relief and pain management.

Similarly, your physician or surgeon should discuss the use of medications to help with the pain initially felt post-surgery. It is important to remember that the pain should be transient. As time passes and the tissues heal, your level of pain should decrease.

Be Patient, Stay Motivated, and Set Realistic Goals

Recovery from surgery doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s essential to be patient and keep a positive attitude during the recovery process.

To help yourself maintain a positive and focused mindset, you’ll want to set realistic goals and timelines with your physiotherapist. This will keep your rehabilitation progress on track, and give you something to work towards.

Doing your research and securing the help of a qualified physiotherapist is the first step in guaranteeing a smoother and speedier recovery.

To see if LIFT can help with your specific condition, call us at 905-282-9922 or email us at

Here’s just a small sample of the sorts of post-surgical complications we treat:

  1. Ankle fractures with pin, plate, or screw fixations
  2. ACL reconstruction surgery
  3. Total knee replacement
  4. Partial knee replacements via the Oxford approach
  5. Hip replacements
  6. Arthroscopic surgeries (often knee scopes)
  7. Shoulder repairs (rotator cuff, SLAP, and Bankart)
  8. Osteochondral allografts

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