Post-operative rehabilitation

    Last updated date: 08-Jan-2023

    Originally Written in English

    Post-operative rehabilitation

    Post-operative rehabilitation


    The process of improving your health and quality of life following an injury, sickness, or surgery is known as rehabilitation. Medical, nursing, and allied health services are available to help you with your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being.


    What is post-operative rehabilitation?

    Man on stroke

    After an illness or injury, rehabilitation is a lengthy, step-by-step procedure that seeks to help you recover. Rehabilitation may assist individuals in regaining mobility, regaining strength, relearning abilities, or discovering new ways of doing things. The goal of rehabilitation is to help you live the best life possible. That may be the same life you had before becoming ill or disabled, or it could be something entirely different. You can discuss with your doctor what you want rehabilitation to accomplish for you. You will set certain objectives with your doctor. You and your doctor will then figure out how to get there.

    Rehabilitation treats you as a whole person and is adapted to your individual needs. Your rehabilitation team will work with you to break down your long-term goals into short-term goals so you can show progress. It is not always possible to recover completely, but rehabilitation can help you cope with the changes you have gone through. Rehab is frequently a lifetime endeavor.

    You will play a critical role in your rehabilitation. You must be patient since it takes time, but it may be beneficial. You may require rehabilitation treatments if you have:

    • Suffered a stroke or spinal injury
    • Been injured at home, on the road, or at work
    • Underwent surgery
    • Suffered a heart attack
    • Had a medical condition, including a mental ailment
    • Spent a significant amount of time in the hospital


    What about the rehabilitation team?

    Multifunctional team (MDT)

    A range of health specialists from various disciplines will be part of the rehabilitation team. This is known as a multifunctional team (MDT).

    Professional in medicine and nursing:

    • Doctor: Manages your daily care while you are in the hospital.
    • Nurses: Specializing in rehabilitation Work with medical and allied health experts to develop comprehensive care plans based on your goals and potential to help you recover when you leave the hospital.
    • A rehabilitation physician: Provides medical supervision, examining and diagnosing your illness in order to maximize your chances of recovery.
    • Nurses on the ward: While you are in the hospital, we will provide you with 24-hour care to help you manage your condition.

    Allied Health care providers

    Assistant Allied Health Specialist allied health practitioners are supported.

    • A dietitian: Monitors your nutrition and fluid consumption to help in your recuperation.
    • Diverse therapist: Assists you with leisure and recreational activities that are essential to you.
    • Physiologist of exercise: Improves your strength, balance, mobility, and endurance.
    • A neuropsychologist: Evaluates and assists you with changes in your thinking or behavior.
    • Therapist, occupational Helps you organize your regular routines and care after yourself.
    • The orthoptist: Evaluates and aids in the use of the best visual function.
    • Orthotist/prosthetist, if necessary, provides assistance devices (e.g., prosthetic limb)
    • Pharmacist: Preparing and dispensing medicine, as well as providing prescription instruction and guidance
    • Physiotherapists: Help you reach your physical potential by concentrating on your function and developing a treatment plan to your unique needs.
    • Podiatrists: Diagnose and treat foot and lower limb issues in order to improve mobility and healing.
    • Psychologist: Supports your mental health by assisting you with adjusting to your illness as well as dealing with sorrow, stress, and mood fluctuations.
    • Worker in social services :Supports you, your family, and caregivers when you leave the hospital or rehab facility (discharge planning) and connects you to appropriate programs.
    • Speech therapist: Assists you with communicating as well as eating and drinking (swallowing)


    What are the Rehabilitation settings?

    post-operative rehabilitation

    Rehabilitation services are provided in both hospital and community settings. The sites where you will receive treatment will be determined by your requirements and what is available in your region.

    • Inpatient care: The term "inpatient" refers to the time you spend in the hospital beginning with your admission. The MDT is in charge of providing care.
    • Ambulatory / outpatient care: You will be treated by an allied health therapist either individually (one-on-one) or in a group setting. Medical or nursing personnel may also examine you. This sort of care facility is most popular when you just need one form of therapy, such as physiotherapy.
    • Day hospital care: You will be treated by the MDT either individually (one-on-one) or in a group setting. Medical or nursing personnel may also examine you. When you require two or more forms of therapy, this is generally the care setting.
    • Care at home: After you are discharged from the hospital, this care might be provided in your home by allied health or nursing professionals.


    What is the goal setting of post-operative rehabilitation?

    post-operative rehabilitation

    Setting goals is critical in recovery. Your goals should be evaluated with you at regular intervals, in collaboration with your rehab team. This is a vital method for keeping track of your development. Depending on your rehabilitation, your goals may need to be altered over time. It is critical to communicate your progress with your family and team as part of the recovery process, as well as to celebrate your accomplishments along the road.

    Your rehab team will work with you to set personal objectives that are: 

    • Specific (for example, 'be able to dress myself' rather than 'get well') 
    • Practical and achievable (initial little or short-term goals can be stepping stones to achieving a larger long-term goal)
    • Time-bound (for example, within 2 days, next week)


    When is post-operative care required following surgery or illness?

    post-operative care

    Post-operative care is required whenever a patient is discharged from the hospital and needs assistance in resuming the life they had before to their operation or sickness. It is used when someone says:

    • Is in a lot of pain
    • Is unable to freely move
    • Lives too far away from family and friends for them to assist.
    • Many follow-up visits are required, as well as assistance in getting to them.
    • Wound care is required, as is frequent physiotherapy.
    • Needs assistance with home chores

    If a loved one is scheduled for a hospital stay, evaluate if they will require post-operative or convalescent care. While everyone wishes for a simple and speedy recovery, home assistance is frequently critical to obtaining that easy recovery. Attempting to cope without assistance is frequently counterproductive and might result in a return to the hospital or residential care. It may also imply that healing is impeded, resulting in long-term issues. Convalescent care allows your loved one to remain in their own home, surrounded by familiar objects and people.


    What role does the patient play in post-operative rehabilitation?

    Post-operative rehabilitation

    Your position in the rehabilitation team is the most vital - personal engagement and dedication are essential in rehabilitation. Members of the MDT collaborate to offer care and support, meeting on a regular basis to discuss your progress. You will be included in discussions regarding your treatment, including the establishment of personal objectives. Your family members can also participate if you choose. Rehabilitation emphasizes "doing with you" rather than "doing for you." You will be encouraged to do as much for yourself as possible (such as getting ready for the day, dressing and eating yourself, and so on).

    You may help your own recovery by:

    • Collaborating with your rehab team to determine your goals and setting them.
    • Voluntarily participating (attending your planned treatment appointments) 
    • Putting in effort and participating to the best of your abilities practicing - your therapists will educate you to complete exercises on your own time 
    • Seek guidance to avoid becoming fatigued or injuring yourself.

    Your family and caregivers are allowed to participate if you consent. They may be encouraged to monitor your rehabilitation program, practice activities with you, and offer encouragement. Their participation and support may aid in your recuperation.


    What are the benefits of post-operative care at home?

    benefits of post-operative

    Home post-operative care is an alternative to a lengthy hospital stay for a stay in a rehabilitation center or care home. Most individuals heal better when they are at home, where they are at ease and joyful.

    Recovering at home entails gradually adjusting to independent life. A lengthier hospital or residential stay might make adjusting harder, especially if there are long-term physical changes to deal with. It is far simpler to handle the transition from hospital to unsupported home living at home with help.

    Being at home for post-operative care allows family and friends to provide additional help. You may see your loved one anytime you choose, rather than being limited by hospital visiting hours. You will not need to offer physical care if expert caregivers are available. You'll have more time to provide them the connection and familiarity they seek.


    What can patients expect from inpatient rehabilitation?

    Inpatient rehabilitation

    The MDT will assess you upon admission to the inpatient rehab and provide treatment and care suited to your requirements.

    Weekly team meetings known as 'case conferences' are frequently arranged to discuss your progress, future goals, and discharge preparations. The rehab team members should offer you and your family with information from this meeting. Most inpatient rehabilitation facilities feature dining halls where you may consume your meals. Family and friends may join you in the dining room depending on the size and your needs.

    What should patient bring?

    It is critical to bring a good mindset and a determination to attain your objectives. Items to bring if you are an inpatient and staying overnight include:

    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, shaving tools, brush, and comb
    • Glasses, hearing aids, dentures, and mobility aids are all necessary.
    • Attire - at least two days of proper clothing for participating in your rehabilitation program, as well as sleeping pajamas. Shoes must be well-fitting, safe, and comfortable.

    Exiting the hospital (discharge)

    You may also bring photographs and personal mementos, but nothing too important should be brought. When not in use, mobile phones and laptops/tablets should be kept away. We understand that staying at home is preferable for your rehabilitation, therefore the rehab team will work to get you back home as soon as possible, depending on your circumstances. Discuss any worries or requests you have about returning home with your rehab team. Changes in your intended discharge date may occur owing to:

    • Unexpected sickness
    • Requirements for house or equipment modifications
    • The availability of essential community services
    • Not taking part in your rehabilitation program
    • Making faster progress than anticipated.

    If necessary, the rehab team will arrange for referrals to continued treatment and community resources prior to your departure.


    What role does physical therapy play in post-operative rehabilitation?

    Physical therapy

    Physical therapy is generally recommended following surgery on the hip, knee, shoulder, wrist, hand, neck, foot, ankle, and spine to aid with healing. Physical therapy can begin anywhere from a few hours to a few days after surgery, and there may be a period of immobility following surgery in some situations. Physical therapy is essential for a patient's capacity to restore mobility, strength, and, eventually, return to normal activities. Without proper retraining, the body will not restore normal mobility. Physical therapists are specially educated to restore range of motion and strength without compensating, as well as to avoid re-injury during the rehabilitation process. The therapist might also provide the patient with particular instructions to allow for maximum recovery.

    Following a complete examination by a physical therapist, goals will be established to reduce the negative consequences of surgery, such as pain and edema, while also restoring normal mobility, flexibility, and function. The therapist and patient will collaborate to set functional objectives for returning to regular activities of daily life and avoiding an injury from recurrence. The therapist will then create an exercise regimen that is personalized to the patient's requirements and skills, as well as work. Therapy is frequently broken into stages. The first occurs soon following surgery, when the bodily portion may be immobilized while pain and swelling subside. Then comes a series of more difficult exercises to regain range of motion, stability, and strength. The ultimate objective is to restore the patient to his or her pre-injury level of activity.

    Post-operative therapies may include the following:

    • Pain management strategies include modalities such as cold, heat, and electrical stimulation.
    • Techniques of manual treatment
    • Exercises that increase flexibility and range of motion
    • Muscle-strengthening exercises
    • Training for posture, balance, and coordination
    • Training and gait analysis
    • Self-care education
    • Exercise teaching at home 


    How to get support and information during post-operative rehabilitation?

    Post-operative rehabilitation

    You may be concerned about the future if you are recuperating from an injury, sickness, or surgery, or if you have a long-term medical condition. The MDT's health experts recognize that recovery can be difficult. There will be setbacks or uncertainty at times, which can be quite stressful. Please consult your doctor if you are having difficulty adapting or if your mood is poor. 

    Please get support from your rehabilitation team. Changes in emotions are typical; don't be hesitant to ask questions about it or consult with your rehab team to see who would be best to speak with you about it more. The MDT can guide and help you as you re-learn or discover new methods of doing things. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact your rehab team at any time. They're there to help you.


    Costs of post-operative rehabilitation

    Costs of post-operative rehabilitation

    Medicare refunds are available to those who qualify. Depending on the amount of coverage, private health insurance may also provide rehabilitation refunds. If you were injured at work, you may be entitled to workers' compensation. The health direct service finder provides information about rehabilitation services and allied health professionals in your region.



    Post-operative rehabilitation encompasses a wide variety of critical services. The home care staff consults with their hospital medical team to determine what ongoing care your loved one requires before they leave the hospital. It is a comprehensive treatment that addresses emotional as well as physical and medicinal requirements. Post-operative caregivers may be responsible for anything from prescription administration to sweeping the floors. Caregivers can offer live-in care or make as many visits as needed.