Although surgery is designed to fix a problem, it also brings its own list of problems with it. The type of surgery and a need for a brace or sling will determine the extent of additional problems a patient will have to deal with. Post surgery rehabilitation is frustrating – we’re here to help.
Braces and slings are designed to protect the surgically repaired tissue, but because of not being able to move for an extended period, this causes muscles to shorten, joints to stiffen, joint capsules to tighten, and general adhesions to develop in the tissues.
Scar tissue from the surgical incisions is very dense and stiff and it binds all the separate layers of tissue down into one layer. This creates a situation in which tissues are needed to glide on each other, but no movement is available. Swelling and inflammation are common problems that will cause pain and limit joint range of motion. This sensitizes nerves causing increased pain and may create weird sensations that travel to different locations than the site of surgery.
Strengthening is often required following surgery whether it is to strengthen the repaired tissue, to stimulate dormant muscles or to regain the body’s sense of joint control and stabilization. These problems will influence a person’s recovery by slowing it down and not allowing them to reach their maximum potential. At physical therapy, we utilize various combinations of manual therapy, exercise, dry needling, IFC/ultrasound, ice/heat, and taping to get you back to doing what you want to do as fast as possible.