Updated: Dec 3, 2020
HOW COME I’M NOT BETTER????? IT’S BEEN A FREAKING YEAR SINCE MY SURGERY!!!!!
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard some form of that, I could probably buy my own private jet (maybe a little over exaggeration). But you get the point!
For those of you who have undergone a surgery with a long rehab that has produced underwhelming results, I’m sorry and I feel for you. I really do, because most of the time the frustration of the process can be significantly reduced by:
Your healthcare providers giving you a clear picture of the process which helps create reasonable expectations.
Your physical therapist pushing you HARD in rehab and not being overly conservative.
First and foremost, almost NO FULL recovery from surgery will be less than 6 months...and it certainly wont be 4-6 weeks! So, what does the doctor mean then when they give you a recovery timeline?
You: “ So doc, how long will it take me to recover from this surgery?”
Doctor: “ 4-6 months and you should be good to go.”
What your doctor really means: “ In 4-6 months, if you work REALLY hard towards your recovery and focus on sleep, a healthy diet that promotes healing, stress management, and TONS of physical reconditioning, you will feel about 85% in 6months. If you continue to prioritize your health and recovery, you should feel better than ever in about 1-1.5 years from surgery!”
Ok, so now that we cleared that up....lets move on to the fun stuff! Working hard in physical therapy.
Here is what INEFFECTIVE therapy would look like
Doing the same exercise every time
Not feeling muscle fatigue/activation every session
Getting e-stim, hot/cold pack, or ultrasound every session
Spending 10 minutes warming up on the bike while your PT is no where to be seen
Spending more than half of your session with a PT tech
And here is what EFFECTIVE therapy would look like
Spending your entire session with your Doctor of Physical Therapy
Being pushed HARD on exercises within appropriate safe parameters
Feeling like you had a good training session
Being prescribed a detailed home program that challenges you
Having a plan of care that is constantly changing to meet YOUR specific goals
I could go on and on about what makes therapy effective vs ineffective but hopefully that is a good outline. Now, here is the BIG question. Did your therapy look like the first example or the second? A full recovery from surgery is HARD WORK! No way around it.
Hopefully this post helps to clear up some of the confusion around recovery timelines for those of you in the process of recovering from surgery. If you want to learn more about how Blue Zone Physio can help you live a pain free life, click here, to set up a call with me!