Foot surgery is often necessary for fractures, ligament injuries, and sports injuries. Sometimes, it’s a last resort for treating arthritis or some deformities after medications and physical therapy. After surgery, physical therapy can help faster healing and restore the full function of the limb. This article will tell you what to expect when you go for physical therapy after foot surgery at Summit Physical Therapy, Merrick, NY.
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Why Do You Need Physical Therapy After Foot Surgery?
Foot surgeries correct or treat deformities and diseases affecting the foot and ankle. The goal is often to improve a patient’s mobility, restore function, and alleviate pain. It also plays a vital role in enhancing a patient’s overall health status and quality of life. Foot surgeries could be minimal or invasive. Sometimes, foot surgery may mean amputation. However, regardless of the technique and outcome of foot surgery, physical therapy is essential.
Physical therapists use techniques like manual therapy (soft tissue or joint mobilization), ultrasound therapy, cold therapy, electrotherapy, exercises, custom orthotics, braces, and gait training to achieve desired results.
After foot surgery, you will experience several changes in the body part. You can expect not to walk with the foot for a few weeks. You may also experience mild to moderate pain, swelling, decreased mobility, and sore muscles. Although most of these symptoms are typical and may resolve quickly, physical therapy is a surefire way to hasten recovery and prevent complications like joint stiffness and muscle imbalance. Let’s get into the details.
After foot surgery, the ankle joint is rendered immobile for a while, and rightly so, to aid proper recovery. However, prolonged immobility poses a huge risk of stiffness at the joints. Physical therapy in Amityville, NY, will help with joint stretching and exercises to gradually improve mobility. Professionals can also introduce devices such as crutches, cranes, and braces to support you during these exercises. The joint mobilization exercises also prevent the development of scar tissue within the joint (which can also hinder mobility) and reduce the risk of future surgery.
Better Muscle Strength
After foot surgery, many people lose muscle strength because they don’t move as often as before. Without physical therapy, the muscles around the foot and leg may never regain their pre-surgery strength. That’s why foot therapy in Merrick involves exercises that gradually improve muscle strength. Improved muscle strength contributes to joint stability, which is important for mobility later on.
The road to recovery after foot surgery is long and arduous, but physical therapy can make it shorter and easier. Exercises that improve mobility and augment muscle strength all lead to one destination- faster recovery. Moreover, physical therapists often advise patients on recovery tips and general health education.
Patients might experience unbearable pain after foot surgery, particularly after the anesthetic wears off. Various physical therapy techniques and pain medication help pain management by stimulating tissue healing and promoting blood circulation. Examples include but are not limited to electrical stimulation, manual therapies, and therapeutic exercises.
Prevents Reinjury after Foot Surgery
Physical therapy is one of the best ways to prevent injury or damage to the foot after surgery. Surgeons monitor their patients for a few days after surgery, allowing them to go home for better recovery. Then, the real work of recovery begins with physical therapy. Weak muscles or an unstable joint increase the risk of reinjury during day-to-day activities following surgery, and physical therapy can minimize that risk.
Professionals at Summit Physical Therapy employ techniques such as manual lymphatic drainage, compression, and elevation to alleviate swelling post-surgery, Swelling impedes good blood flow. It can limit healing, so preventing or treating it is crucial.
What To Expect During Physical Therapy After Foot Surgery?
This section answers all questions you may have about PT after foot surgery.
When Do You Start Physical Therapy After Foot Surgery?
You can begin physical therapy a day or two, up to one week after foot surgery. It all depends on the nature of the surgery and the surgeon’s discretion.
How Long Is Physiotherapy After Foot Surgery?
Physical therapy after foot surgery can last for six to twelve weeks, but you must know that several factors influence the duration. First, the nature of the surgery you had, which also correlates to the extent of injury, is important. Next, the level of impairment after the surgery, which will allow your therapist to outline clear-cut goals for your treatment, also influences the duration of foot therapy.
A safer answer to this question is, ‘It ends when you achieve your goals for physical therapy after foot surgery.’
Once you’re ready to begin physical therapy after foot surgery, your therapist will meet with you to review your relevant medical history, assess the extent of dysfunction, and discuss management goals. They will also discuss the therapy techniques pertinent to your condition, and the risks involved, and advise you on how to avoid reinjury while recuperating.