Don't Skip The Post-Surgery Therapy

One of the steps for recovery after you have orthopedic surgery is often to get physical therapy. Despite insurance companies treating therapy as optional, it's really not. Even if you don't go to an official physical therapist and just have exercises assigned to you by your doctor, you need to do these to take full advantage of your body's ability to heal. The therapy is meant to restore your range of motion in a safe manner, and if you skip it, you could end up limiting your normal movements for months, if not longer.

Perception of Range of Movement

After orthopedic surgery, you'll have a certain perception of how much and how far you can move whatever was operated on. This is understandable; if you have knee surgery, the last thing you're thinking about afterward is actually bending the knee. But if you stay still for too long, you can end up with more stiffness than is healthy, and in fact, you risk injuring yourself if you try to move normally later on. Of course, you can't just start playing sports right after the surgery, either.

The physical therapy guidelines issued by your doctor -- either for official therapy sessions or just exercises you do at home -- is meant to ease you back into moving the affected body part safely while also not letting it stiffen up. You can always ask for a nurse or someone else in the hospital to show you how to do the exercises at first to ensure you're doing them correctly. Following the plan set out by your doctor helps match your perception of what movements you can do to reality.

Guided Recovery

That plan also helps you determine if something is wrong after the surgery. If the exercises aren't going well, you know that you have to call your doctor or move up any follow-up appointments. For example, if you are having pain while trying to do an exercise the surgeon told you to do, then that's a signal to call the surgeon or the doctor who is in charge of your recovery instead of waiting and seeing if the pain goes away.

Not Always Extensive

Remember that physical therapy doesn't always mean several appointments at a therapy center. Just because you haven't been told to contact an actual physical therapist doesn't mean the exercises your surgeon gives you are optional. Follow that recovery plan to the best of your ability.

Your surgeon can answer additional questions about the exercises and your range of movement before the surgery. Remember to keep the surgeon up to date about any problems you encounter after the procedure.

To learn more information, reach out to an orthopedic surgeon near you,