If you have a surgical operation scheduled to replace a joint, then your physician will most likely prescribe post-surgical physical therapy for you. In many cases, the therapy will begin the day of or the day after surgery. While this may seem quick, it is essential to the healing process. Keep reading to learn more about how the therapy will benefit you.
Reduced Complications Post Surgery
One of the main benefits of physical therapy is that it can reduce some common post-surgical complications. One of these complications is the buildup of fluid in the lungs which can lead to pneumonia. With physical therapy, movement increases the depth of your respirations and this helps you to cough up any fluid that may be accumulating in the lungs. This is especially helpful if you do not want to use the breathing incentive spirometry device after your surgery.
The therapy also assists with reducing blood clots in your body. Blood clotting is something that can occur due to surgical trauma. And, clots can develop in the legs if you remain sedentary for too long. Physical therapy helps your body to break up clots safely and it prevents the ones that can develop in your legs. It also assists with general heart function and the movement of blood through the body. This translates to a healthy heart and cardiovascular system after your operation and fewer clotting issues.
Strength and Mobility Retention
If you are an older person who is receiving a new joint, then your mobility will be affected by the operation. This is due to soft tissue trauma and pain. Unfortunately, even a short bout of immobility can have lasting effects. You will start to develop some tightening of the muscles in three to four days and muscles will begin to deteriorate from lack of use within about two weeks. And, the deterioration may be a permanent issue if you are physically unable to rebuild your muscle tissues.
Physical therapy works to reduce these issues to help you retain your mobility and strength. The therapist will get you up and out of bed and they will teach you how to move your arms and legs to retain muscle tone. They will also assist with walking with longer and longer sessions each day until you can walk unassisted or with a walker or other mobility device.
To find out about the role of physical therapists after surgery and what they can do to assist you, speak with your physician.