Post Operative Physiotherapy

Post Operative Physiotherapy

For patients undergoing orthopaedic surgery the post-operative physiotherapy protocol that they follow will be critical to the result that they achieve. Often there is an established guideline or protocol for the Physiotherapist to follow if you are having a common surgery such as a hip replacement, knee replacement or ACL reconstruction. Generally speaking post-operative physiotherapy occurs in three phases namely,

  • The early recovery phase
  • The strength and range of motion phase
  • The functional restoration phase.

Physiotherapy in the Early Recovery Phase

This phase begins as soon as you are discharged from surgery and carries on until your tissues have healed, the swelling from surgery has dissipated and the pain associated with the surgery has mostly resolved. During this period of time your Physiotherapist will be focused on the following :

  • Pain relief
  • Reducing swelling
  • Gentle manual therapy to restore joint range of motion
  • Assistance with early walking
  • Prescribing gait aids like walkers or canes and instructing on their use
  • Simple exercises to begin to regain muscle function without disrupting healing

Physiotherapy in the Strength and Range of Motion Phase

Once you have reached the appropriate milestones for your specific surgery and the post-op pain and swelling have reduced your physiotherapy program will become focused on normalizing the range of motion, mechanics and strength of your body. During this time, your post-op physiotherapy program will likely include :

  • More difficult strength exercises
  • The introduction of some balance and proprioception tasks
  • More aggressive manual therapy to restore full joint range of motion
  • Soft tissue treatment to ensure you regain full mobility

Physiotherapy in the Functional Restoration Phase

When your surgical site is ready and your strength has returned sufficiently to do more complex exercises safely you will move into the functional restoration phase of your post-op physiotherapy program. Each person uses their body differently and has a lifestyle that has different physical demands. It is important that each patient's Physiotherapy program is designed to meet their physical goals. While one patient may be looking to return to an elite level of sport, another may simply need to be able to get down on the floor to play with their grandchildren. Therefore, the program must progress toward the goals of the patient. During this period of time you may be doing some of the following :

  • A progression of exercises designed to meet a complex functional goal
  • More difficult and complex balance and proprioception exercises
  • Manual therapy to restore full joint range of motion (if not already achieved)

First step post-operative rehabilitation in OA

Postoperative rehabilitation is crucial for the success of any surgical procedure . It has the purpose of recovering muscle strength, range of motion, coordination in walking and mitigation of the pain. The postoperative rehabilitation program usually starts 48 hours after the surgery procedure as a result of the clinical evaluation of each specific case of OA. The rehabilitation is often long because of the time necessary for the cartilage cells to adapt and mature into repair tissue.

Second step post-operative rehabilitation in OA

Following hospital discharge, the patient should continue the rehabilitation exercise program at home. The physiotherapist will indicate and teach the exercises to be carried out independently, aimed at maintaining a good muscular and articular quality. Patients surgically treated for OA often suffer from pain and have problems during everyday activities, and physical activity could attenuate these deficits. Strengthening exercises, aerobic exercises or both together, show positive effects for both pain and physical function.

Important Considerations for Post-Op Physiotherapy

There are restrictions and timelines specific to your surgery that must be respected to heal properly. For example, patients who have undergone an ACL reconstruction are usually not allowed to run until 12 weeks after surgery and people who have undergone a hip replacement are told to avoid bending the hip past 90 degrees for several months and are usually told they need to give up some higher risk activities such as skiing and running. These restrictions can be obtained from your surgical team or your Physiotherapist and should be respected to ensure the best possible results.

Solution we provide


Cell Regeneration and Repair Therapy or Pulsed Therapy has become a major option for the management of osteoarthritis before and after surgery. Before the surgery if the Grade of the Joint is in the mild to moderate range, we can indicate the patient for the therapy. The patient has to undergo a complete physical assessment and in reference to the Radiological investigations the clinician or the therapist will determine the Grade and suggest the treatment. Treatment duration is 60 minutes for 9 to 12 days (depending on the Grades). During the session the patient has to follow specific timing for the treatment and should avoid all heavy activities. Post the session patient will have 4 weeks break and has to start with exercises.

If post-operative- CRRT is indicated to patients those who are not having ferrous implants and this therapy is very helpful in the healing of the joints.


Use of extreme cold that is up to-30-degree Celsius for the management of inflammation as well as arthritic pain. The patient can benefit from one session but its most effective when used regularly. It is a focused treatment and the duration is not more than 20 minutes.