Post-Operative Rehabilitation : Sports Injury Treatment

Post-operative rehabilitation is the period of recovery following surgery. It is the time when you should gradually start to regain full functionality; how long this takes will depend on what surgery you had and the severity of the injury. It is important to start moving the injured area as soon as possible after surgery to prevent it from becoming disused and more difficult to repair.

Why is Rehabilitation Important?

Rehabilitation can mean the difference between continuing in sport to have a successful career and having to give up altogether. An effective rehabilitation program will speed up recovery and prevent future injuries.

What does Post-Operative Rehabilitation Involve?

Usually it will involve gentle sports therapy treatments designed to loosen up the muscles and regain function and strength. Treatments are usually combined with a home care program. Younger people will be expected to heal more quickly than older people, depending on the injury.

Head Injuries

In the case of head injuries which are generally very serious, the recovery period is extremely important. The rehabilitation process can have serious consequences on the athlete’s future health and career. After surgery the athlete will be monitored carefully to ensure there is no further bleeding, and if the patient loses consciousness they will also be carefully monitored once they come to for blood pressure, breathing rate and heart rate.

Spinal Injuries

Following a spinal injury or surgery to repair fractures, slipped discs and trapped nerves a long period of rehabilitation is necessary. Rest is necessary to allow the back to heal. Gradually you will be able to have treatments such as chiropractic, physiotherapy or osteopathy in order to build up some strength and improve mobility. You may have to wear a brace for some time following the injury to support the back, and potentially you may have to use a wheelchair. If the injury was serious enough to result in paralysis the rehabilitation time will be significantly longer, and of course there is a chance you will never recover. However, physiotherapy can help to increase the ability to feel and move.

Other Sports Injuries

Physiotherapy and rest are the cornerstones of rehabilitation for most sporting injuries. Generally the damaged area will be immobilised to prevent it being used or exposed to strain. A specialist will advise you on how long the injury needs to be rested for. After this, you will gradually be allowed to do exercises designed to increase the strength and mobility of the area.


Pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs will be administered following surgery. You may also be given medicine to prevent infection.

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