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Post-surgery rehabilitation - Sydney

In order to make a full recovery, rehabilitation is vital after any kind of surgery. The duration and extent of the rehabilitation is commensurate with each individual case and must be carefully monitored over time. Even seemingly similar cases may have significantly different paths to healing and recovery, so we observe the circumstances closely to tailor the rehabilitation plan to each and every individual.

Surgery may have been necessary for a long-standing condition such as knee, hip or shoulder replacement due to arthritis, or for a new (acute) condition. Acute conditions are many and varied and may include shoulder or knee (ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction due to injury or a broken bone (fracture) which requires surgical correction with pins and plates.

In the case of joint replacement, the cartilage lining of the joint is replaced and there is often an immediate resulting reduction in pain within that joint. But it’s difficult to isolate individual zones without considering the effects on nearby soft tissues: the surrounding muscles are likely to have become weak and are likely to require specific exercises to regain strength. After surgery, the joint may still be swollen and stiff, so guided stretching may be included in your rehabilitation.

In the case of joint reconstruction, the supporting structures of the joint—that is, ligaments and/or tendons that have been torn or stretched—are strengthened by a number of surgical methods. Rehabilitation will often have to be carefully staged so as not to overstrain these tissues. Strength and movement are slowly regained with guidance from your physiotherapist.

Following surgery for fractures, the limb is still often kept in plaster. When the plaster is removed, immobilised joints will need to be carefully mobilised to gradually regain movement, and weak muscles will gradually need to be strengthened.

A gentle balance needs to be maintained between the amount of strengthening or mobility exercises undertaken without prematurely overtaxing the area where surgery took place.

What to Expect after Surgery?  

After joint surgery, most people will experience swelling, pain, stiffness and weakness. Your physiotherapist will liaise with your surgeon and follow their post-surgical guidelines. They may use ice, ultrasound, massage, tape and exercise and will suggest activities to do at home.

At Macquarie Street Physiotherapy, after any type of surgery, we not only look at the area involved, but also at the condition of the entire body. Let us help you return to good overall fitness and flexibility. Contact us on (02) 9221 1604 to discuss how we can facilitate your rehabilitation in Sydney.


Macquarie Street Physio