This will be a weekly feature on Fridays in our blog, where we answer questions we get from our clients or posters on this site or our Facebook page. So if you have a question about some sort of injury or problem you are having whether pain or fitness related drop us a line in the comments or Facebook message.
This week’s question comes from one of our clients who is getting Total Hip Replacement Surgery. She asked us why her friend who had a hip done was getting therapy, but her doctor who is a different said all she needed to do was walk.
First of all I will admit my answer is biased as I am a PT. But we see this often. Some physicians refer everyone to rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery, some don’t. You would have to ask the physician why he doesn’t think rehabilitation would be helpful. My guess is two fold, one he is taking into account his surgery, but not you as a whole person and two he really doesn’t understand what we do.
I think everyone can benefit from rehabilitation after surgery. The amount and duration may be variable depending on the situation. But to my mind anyone who is taking the drastic step of having major orthopedic surgery such at joint replacement has probably had significant pain and limitation for quite some time. The surgeon is attempting to reduce pain by fixing the result of many years of damage. He does this by cutting through tissue and removing bone. In of itself the surgery is a significant traumatic event. People will undergo varying amounts of pain and swelling with this, not to mention the systemic stresses this puts on the body. Being followed by a rehab expert can help get you through this process. The other area to consider is the surgery has replaced the joint, but not done anything to alter muscle function or neuromuscular control. Over the years your body has developed movement patterns not only in the hip, but in the surrounding structures to compensate for pain, loss of movement, and loss of strength. A physical therapist can look at these areas and work with you on ways to correct this through hands on techniques, exercise, or advice on how to overcome these and get you back to function more quickly and safely, whether that is higher level sporting activities or just getting you walking the dog.
So my answer may be biased, but if your doctor says you don’t need rehab and he answers “You just don’t” ask him to explain his reasons.
If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Ascent Physical Therapy is an independently owned PT practice located in Avon, Colorado 970-949-9966 and Eagle, CO 970-328-5230