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Operations and Surgery

Operations and surgery often have the need for physiotherapy and rehabilitation, especially common in rehabilitation in elderly after hip surgery. Rehab after tennis elbow surgery or surgery to other joints and muscles is important to get the most out of your operation and get your quality of life back. We specialise in rehabilitation tailored to your needs and can offer specific programs such as hydrotherapy rehabilitation after shoulder surgery.

“Prehab” is rehabilitation before your operation. Talk to any physiotherapist on the surgical ward and they’ll tell you who has done their prehab before the operation! Those who have gone through rehabilitation beforehand are more prepared for what to expect, they learn and perform their exercises correctly, have less pain and get moving more quickly. This is because after an operation is the WORST time to be learning new exercises. You may be in pain, recovering from anaesthetic and other complications, in an unfamiliar environment.

Learning your exercises and practicing before your operation in your home environment means you’ll be more familiar with what you need to do afterwards. You’ll also build up your muscles and keep your movement before your operation, and improve your fitness which is important to help reduce risk of complications. By the time most people have surgery they have lost a lot of muscle tone and condition. If you need an operation for your hip, knee, ankle or back, chances are you are not moving around as much as you used to, which is the reason you’re having an operation.

The operation will hopefully fix the issue but it won’t restore your muscles! Joint replacement surgery fixes the worn out joint, but you’ll still need your muscles to come back. If you’ve started rebuilding your muscles before your op, you’ll recover more quickly.

A good prehab program may involve non-weight bearing exercise such as exercise bike, pedal exercisers (great for people who can’t get on and off bikes) and hydrotherapy.

Your surgeon will determine what treatment you need in hospital and afterwards. Unfortunately, it is common for many clients to have good care in hospital but for a number of reasons have less care when they get home (especially the elderly and those in regional areas).

You should leave hospital with a good exercise and rehabilitation plan. In our experience, a lot of clients stop doing their exercises too early, before they have gotten their full function back, or they don’t progress them from what they are given in hospital.

For example, a lot of clients, especially elderly clients after hip surgery, feel much better after a few weeks and are back to walking without pain. However, they still haven’t gotten their muscle tone back, and often continue to walk the way they were before their operation (e.g. limping). Over time, this puts more stress on other joints, including the opposite hip joint, and can lead to further pain/operations.

Hydrotherapy can be a wonderful post-surgery/operation treatment. It is easier to move in water and less painful, and we can safely get you in and out of the water after most types of surgery.

Seeing you at home can be far easier for you after surgery as you may be restricted in your ability to travel. Seeing you at home also allows us to identify and problem solve what you are having the most difficulty with and tailor your rehabilitation to meet these needs.

Our physiotherapists and occupational therapists will help you with everything you need post-surgery in terms of equipment, modifications to your home or environment, exercises, pain and swelling management. We are also helping to educate you and carers/family on what to expect whilst communicating with your surgeon and doctor so we’re all working together to help you get as much function back as possible.

We specialise in rehabilitation of the elderly after hip surgery, either in their home or in residential aged care. We have extensive experience working with clients with dementia, challenging behaviours, and other medical conditions.

Please contact us if you’re caring for an older client or to learn more about how we can help you with your needs pre and post surgery.

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