Surgery and Physical Therapy go Hand in Hand

Importance of Physical Therapy

No matter what age we are, injuries happen. Especially active people, and the older generations, generally get injured the most. Where I live people tend to break bones and wear down joints more so than other places due to extreme sports we do here in the mountains like skiing and mountain biking. Granted we can all get hurt anywhere, breaking bones and joints is not fun. And getting back to a healthy, strong body does not happen overnight, especially for those of us over 50.

Many of us, who’ve broken bones and/or have had joint replacements think physical therapy is optional after surgery. PT (short for physical therapy) is actually a vital step in your recovery and healing process. PT not only speeds up the healing process it gets the patient more involved in healing themselves, which can last a lifetime to being proactive in their present and future health.

Understanding the future ahead as far as staying strong, especially in and around the area of surgery, and learning the limitations, as well as, strengthening exercises is vital to not reinjuring the area.

Physical therapy has many benefits.

  • Restores range of motion
  • Protects healing bones and ligaments
  • Stabilizes surrounding areas, specifically the affected areas
  • Returning to normal movement
  • Learning exercises to prevent future reinjuries.

PT after surgery is always recommended, may I say it is actually…vital? Well, trust me it is! I have more than enough experience with broken bones, joint replacements, and physical therapy. Let me say that again…Physical Therapy is Vital to healing broken bones and replaced joints.

Every surgical situation has a specified mode of therapy and your therapist will put together the most appropriate therapy for your special situation. People often forgo PT because they do not understand the importance of the therapy or may even fear the pain of PT. However, we have to step up to the plate, or PT room, and let a little hard work bring us back to our optimal, physical condition. Of course, if you are experiencing pain during your physical therapy session be sure to tell your therapist right away.

The Healing Process

The healing process can be long and physical therapy will shorten the time. Therapy generally includes exercises, training for activities of daily living, and education regarding the injury, the importance of strenghting the area, and general limitations. Most patients will have several visits as their strength and abilities improve.

Other options and costs of physical therapy

Physical therapy can be expensive, but the consequences can be worse and much more expensive. People ask, “can’t I just watch a YouTube video,” or “can’t I google it?” No! Neither is any substitute for hands-on physical therapy. At the beginning of therapy, the hands-on is important to figure out your personal needs and restrictions. As strength builds the therapist adjusts the exercises so that you keep improving. Towards the end of therapy, recieving the exact exercises and healing practices you need are very important, and different for each individual injury.

As far as price, costs vary depending on the physical therapist you are seeing and therapy you receive, among other factors. On average, physical therapy costs anywhere from $50-$350 per session. Some physical therapy session costs, can even be broken down to every 15 minutes.

  • For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of a copay of $10-$75 per session or coinsurance of 10%-50% or more. Physical therapy typically is covered by health insurance when medically necessary.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, physical therapy typically costs $50-$350 or more per session, depending on the length of the session, the service provided during the session and the provider. Physical therapy provided in a hospital setting tends to be more expensive.
  • Total cost can range from hundreds of dollars for a relatively minor issue, such as a routine sports injury, that might require several sessions, up to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for a major problem, such as rehabilitation from a serious accident or major surgery that might require several sessions per week for months.
  • Researching your options is crucial for both a good therapist and cost efficiency.

It can take many months to recover from an operation, be patient. A lot depends on your overall health and the kind of procedure you had. Work closely with your PT team and follow their instructions. Your hard work and physical therapy will pay off.