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Postoperative Physical Therapy

Updated: May 5, 2022

What is Postoperative Physical Therapy?

Postoperative physical therapy refers to the care you should receive after a surgery. There are many different orthopedic surgeries, but all of them require some form of physical therapy afterwards. Unfortunately, many people assume that surgery will fix their injury and they will be fully healthy. This is rarely the case. You are often in more pain immediately following surgery, and there can be requirements including limiting mobility or weight bearing on the surgical site.

Many people think that postoperative physical therapy is addressing what occurred in the surgery, but it often goes beyond that. First of all, you are typically suffering for a long time before surgery. If you have experienced knee pain for 2 years before surgery, you were probably using different movement patterns and avoiding stressing your knee. This may have limited the strength and range of motion of the knee long before the surgery even occurred.

Postoperative physical therapy should also return you to your desired level of activity. If you are a runner, but you took two years off of running due to knee pain, then this needs to be addressed in physical therapy. Your physical therapist should help you safely progress back to your prior activities so that you do not re-injure yourself.

postoperative physical therapy

How Should Postoperative Physical Therapy Progress?