If you recently underwent a surgical procedure, congratulations on taking the first step in becoming a more physically capable version of yourself! However, surgery is just the first step in the process, and you’ll make your biggest recovery strides during the next stage of rehabilitation, which is physical therapy. But what can you expect during this first appointment with a physical therapist? In today’s blog, we walk you through a typical first PT appointment after a corrective surgical procedure.
Physical Therapy After Surgery
You’ll be referred to a physical therapy clinic anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks after your surgical procedure, and here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect:
- Medical History Review – Your physical therapist will take a look at your medical history and any imaging exams to get a basic understanding of your overall health.
- Baseline Assessment – The physical therapist will then work to start establishing a baseline of certain physical functions. They’ll establish a baseline for things like: Range Of Motion, Strength, Flexibility
- Movement Examination – Depending on your operation and where you’re at in your recovery, your physical therapist may want to see how your body responds when standing, walking or bearing weight with certain movements. They’ll also take a closer look at your posture during these movement screens so that adjustments can be made if your posture is causing excess stress to be channeled to certain areas of your body.
- Scar Tissue/Incision Site Assessment – Your physical therapist will also take a look at the incision site to ensure healing is occurring as expected. They may also have you perform a few exercises to help break up scar tissue to reduce the likelihood that it irritates any nearby nerves.
- Goal Setting – Your therapist will talk with you about your short- and long-term goals and the types of benchmarks they see for their recovery. These goals may be fluid and change based on your progression, but it helps to set some basic goals to work towards. We’ll also ask you about some goals you want to work towards so that you stay motivated throughout your PT program.
- Plan Until Next Time – Finally, we always want to ensure that our clients leave our office with a clear understanding of what we expect from them and what they should be doing between sessions. This will likely include some specific exercises and some activity restrictions, but we’ll want to make sure that you know exactly what we expect from you before you leave the office so that you can continue your progress until next time!
For more information about physical therapy after a surgical procedure, or to talk to our team about setting up your first appointment with a physical therapist, give our Edina office a call today at (612) 339-2041.