Post Surgical/Post Operative Physiotherapy

For many conditions, surgery is only the first step toward a full recovery.

We’re at the forefront of post-surgical rehabilitation,

Working closely with your surgeon we develop focused individual treatment plans and practical goals that aim to get you back to your pre surgery level of strength, fitness and agility.

After surgery, your tissues, muscles and bones go through a period of healing. Because of this, your body needs to slowly return to everyday activities, which is why limiting mobility during recovery can sometimes result in improper healing. Side effects of this can include reduced range of motion, flexibility and functionality.

Post-operative physical therapy is the ideal way to encourage your body to heal. In fact, our orthopaedic surgeons believe that the success of their procedures is highly dependent on a personalized physical therapy plan.

Due to extensive research and experience, physical therapists have a very good understanding of what needs to be done after each surgical procedure to maximize your recovery. It is very important that you adhere to the recommendations and exercises that your physical therapist will teach you in each phase of your recovery.

Overall, physical therapy helps:

  • Minimize scar tissue
  • Restore strength
  • Regain range of motion
  • Speed up your recovery
  • Maximize return to full function and sport
  • Reduce pain

Recovery Processes

If you’re preparing for a surgical procedure or curious about recovery processes, the following physical therapy exercise protocols can help give you an idea of what to expect.

ACL protocol:


Meniscal repair:


Rotator Cuff repair:


Total Hip replacement:


Total Knee replacement:

When is Physiotherapy Indicated?

Physical therapy is typically indicated following an orthopedic surgery such as operations on the hip, knee, shoulder, wrist, hand, neck, foot, ankle, and spine to facilitate a speedy recovery. Physical therapy can start anywhere from a few hours to a few days after surgery and in some cases there may be a period of immobilization following surgery.

A patient’s ability to regain motion and strength and ultimately return to their daily activities depend on physical therapy.  The body will not regain normal motion without specific retraining. Physical therapists are specifically trained to restore range of motion and strength without compensation and to prevent re-injury during the recovery process. The therapist can also provide the patient with specific guidelines to allow optimal healing.

After a thorough evaluation by a physical therapist, goals will be set to minimize the adverse effects of surgery such as pain and swelling as well as to restore normal movement, flexibility and function. The therapist and patient will work together to establish functional goals related to resuming normal activities of living as well as preventing an injury from recurring. The therapist will then design an exercise program tailored specific to the patient’s needs and abilities, and work.

Therapy is often divided into distinct phases. The first comes immediately after surgery when the body part may be immobilized while pain and swelling subside. Then comes a series of progressively challenging exercises to restore range of motion, stability, and strength. The final goal is to return the patient to a pre-injury activity level. Post-operative treatments may specifically include:

  • Strategies for pain reduction including modalities such as ice, heat, and electrical stimulation
  • Flexibility exercises to improve range of motion
  • Exercises to strengthen muscles
  • Posture, balance, and coordination training
  • Gait analysis and training
  • Manual therapy techniques
  • Self-care training
  • Home exercise instruction

Common surgeries we’ve treated include:

  • Total & partial joint replacements
  • Knee (ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL reconstruction)
  • Ligament or tendon reconstructions (Rotator cuff repair)
  • Cervical surgeries (spinal fusion)
  • Hip surgeries (fractures or replacements)

Beyond Recovery Programs

Beyond recovery, we also offer on-going training and wellness programs to help you reach your fitness and injury prevention goals.

  • Increase strength, mobility and flexibility within injured area
  • Improve whole body strength for faster recovery
  • Safely engage in exercise programs that evolve with your progress


Additionally, we offer Clinical Pilates one on one sessions or classes that are instructed by registered physical therapists who provide an informative and safe workout and offer strategies for injury prevention. Private and small group classes available.