Post-Operative Sport-Specific Rehabilitation
Sport Medicine Therapy plays an important role in your full return to sport after an orthopaedic surgery.
While the orthopaedic surgeon may recommend physical therapy prior to and after your surgery, we work closely with the surgeon to provide a safe, but rapid, return to full, sport participation.
Our facility provides sport-specific equipment and rehabilitation techniques based on your particular needs.
Common Orthopaedic Surgical Procedures
- Tommy John Surgery to repair the Ulnar Collateral Ligament at the elbow (most commonly seen in baseball pitchers)
- Shoulder labral, rotator cuff, and joint capsule repairs
- Arthroscopic shoulder and knee debridement
- Arthroscopic hip surgery
- Knee ligament injuries (ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL)
- Meniscal repairs
- Patellar lateral release
- Patellar tendon repair
- Achilles tendon repairs
What to expect with Post-Operative, Sport-Specific Rehabilitation
It is common to be referred for physical therapy prior to your surgical procedure. This may be only one session for education about post-operative expectations, instruction about using assistive devices, or a few exercises to help prepare the body for surgery. It may also be necessary to extend pre-operative rehabilitation to regain appropriate range of motion or strengthening necessary to improve the chances of a successful surgery and overall rehabilitation outcome. The need for pre-surgical rehabilitation will be determined by your physician.
Physical therapy may begin as soon as the day after your surgical procedure, as determined by your physician. Your initial visit will include an assessment of your current joint mobility, muscle flexibility, strength if indicated, swelling, pain, and your ability to perform general function for daily home and community activities. You will also be educated about specific post-operative precautions and restrictions if necessary. A home exercise program is generally started on the first visit.
Many rehabilitation protocols are specific for the surgical procedures performed and have been derived by surgeons and physical therapists to provide a safe, effective rehabilitation progression. Not all surgeries have a specific protocol, in which case, the physical therapist will utilize knowledge of healing and tissue repair, assessment of your specific deficits, and your responses to prior treatments, to progress therapeutic treatments.
Return to sport is determined by the physical therapist and orthopaedic surgeon. A variety of physical testing and drills will be performed, possibly including isokinetic testing and high-speed video analysis, to determine if the athletes’ strength, range of motion, flexibility, and agility are appropriate for a safe return.