Fast and Successful Recovery After Surgery Abroad – Value of Physiotherapist

Physiotherapy can help you recover from surgery abroad faster

Fast recovery after surgery is something people undergoing surgery really wish for. If we can shorten the time it takes your body to heal we can get back to “normal” and live our lives in a more fulfilling manner. Physiotherapy can do that.

Physiotherapy is a primary health profession that is based on the use of therapeutic exercise to help either rehabilitate individuals back to health following injury, surgery or to prevent or slow the progression of a disease. We at Health Vantis are big advocates of physiotherapy as a vital tool in your post-op recovery.

Why Hire a Physiotherapist After Your Surgery Abroad

There are certainly lots of free resources available online that provide exercise programs or advice.  The biggest advantages to working with a physiotherapist are the expertise in the use of therapeutic exercise in regards to pathology and the peace of mind knowing you’re working with a regulated health profession. These days there are many “experts” that provide advice on exercise. It’s important that your exercises are chosen based on your given condition. A person may recommend an exercise that helped their low back pain to everyone that suffers from low back pain; however, the exercises that are prescribed for disk-related pain are very different than those for spinal stenosis. So what might help one person may hinder another.

A physiotherapist can help provide the expertise needed to guide patients through their individual recovery. Working with a physiotherapist also provides a level of peace of mind and security for patients as it is a regulated health profession.  It is held to strict standards by provincial colleges that exist to protect the public from substandard or unethical treatment.

Physiotherapy after Knee or Hip Replacement

Generally, the most difficult surgeries to recover from would be a brain, heart, or spinal surgery. These are very complex and often require long periods of rehabilitation and present a significant challenge in the rehabilitation process. However, if we look at surgeries that are more common, such as a total knee replacement or ACL repair, it can be quite challenging.

The knee is a joint that is heavily impacted by the structures surrounding it.  There is often a period of time prior to the surgery where a person experiences significant pain.  As a result they become weaker and less mobile. Then the rehabilitation after the surgery is complicated by the fact that the muscles are already weak to begin with and that individual may be in poorer overall health. From a physiotherapist’s perspective and experience, it’s important for patients to have realistic expectations about how they will feel after surgery. Many people may feel that once their surgery is complete they’ll be pain-free.   Often there’s quite some time before that is the case.  Be sure to discuss with your physiotherapist or health care team about appropriate pain management strategies.

Tips for Faster Recovery After Total Joint Replacement

Having realistic expectations following surgery is important. It will help you to keep a positive attitude and not to get too down or depressed if it feels like you aren’t progressing. Each day can be different but overall it’s important to think week to week instead of day-to-day. Today might feel worse than yesterday but usually today is better than last week.

Secondly, preparing for your post-surgery period of time is important. Considering things like who will look after you, can you drive, will you be able to be home alone, will you be able to use the washroom, can you make food, etc.  Preparing for these things can make the rehab process go much more smoothly and reduces stress.

Lastly, it is very important for someone that is preparing for surgery to try and get their muscles as strong as possible.  Staying as active as possible will make the rehabilitation process more successful. Swimming or biking can be great ways to perform exercise in non or reduced weight bearing positions if that is a problem.  This will allow for better strength and overall health. Individuals with successful outcomes following surgery are generally those that stick to their post-surgery exercise programs.


Information Credit: Stephen Richey, Physiotherapist, CBI Health, Bedford, NS

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