You have climbed one big mountain by going through the surgery. Now the second big journey starts – post op rehabilitation. Some say the easy part was the surgery. But it’s the Physiotherapy after surgery that can be hard. But don’t fret, our Burnaby Physiotherapy clinic is here to help.

Post op Physiotherapy is geared towards getting you back to your optimal physical function. It is usually prescribed after a variety of surgical procedures such as:

It is important that you attend Physiotherapy after your surgery as soon as you can. Your surgeon will make that call.  Regular attendance at your Physiotherapy sessions ensures that you will have a good prognosis. Many studies show that the best recovery results from early rehabilitation interventions.


The quality of your post op Physiotherapy can determine how well you heal. You can recover faster, and return to your daily activities and sport safer. It is also important to follow an appropriate rest and activity timeline. This ensures that you do not compromise the surgery.

Depending on the type of surgery, you may or may not be able to move the area immediately after. The longer you are unable to move the limb, the more muscle and joint weakness and stiffness there will be. Your Physiotherapist will guide your rehabilitative exercises. These exercises can keep the surrounding areas mobile and strong while you rest the surgical area. For example, after an ACL reconstruction, you may be instructed to keep the ankle and hip moving while you rest your knee.

Post op Physiotherapy can help with restoring strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Our Registered Physiotherapists in Burnaby can also provide treatment for pain, swelling, and inflammation. This will help you return to normal activities  and to the sport of your choice.  Your Physiotherapist may advise using gait aids or other supports as well. This can help the healing process by preventing pain and discomfort to the injured areas. Other benefits include improved body coordination and less compensatory movements in the body.  In post op Physiotherapy, the patient is educated about the stages of healing and the need to respect each stage. Various types of exercises and movements appropriate at each stage are given to optimize recovery.

Depending on the surgeon, they may have specific protocols that they would like the Physiotherapist to follow. These protocols ensure that you do not over-stress the surgical areas and provide guidance as to when you can start doing so.

Post Op Physiotherapy Usually Occurs In 3 Stages:

Swelling Reduction and Pain Control

This is the first stage post-surgery. During this stage, the goal is to decrease swelling and pain. Gentle exercises are usually prescribed to provide optimal loading of the joint and to maintain and/or gain some range in the area. Our Registered Physiotherapists can also use a combination of acupuncture, electrical modalities, taping techniques to achieve this effect.

Range of Motion and Strength

Rehabilitative exercises at this stage involve a lot more motion and strength training. Movement and range of motion are encouraged and pushed to the limit. There is also a focus on strength training since it is imperative to regain stability. Progressive strength and range of motion exercises will be prescribed as you improve.

Return To Activities Of Daily Living Or Return To Sport

This is the last stage of rehabilitation. In this stage, strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination are challenged. Functional and sport-specific exercises are prescribed to mimic the demands of the activity. This can help reduce injury to the area when returning to activities of daily living or sport. Depending on your prior activity level and type of surgery, it may be 6-12 months before returning to your prior activities.

Occasionally, we may need to involve other health practitioners to help you through the recovery process such as occupational therapists. Occupational therapists can help with finding the right tools and aids to make everyday living easier. When needed, we will include other healthcare practitioners to ensure a smooth recovery.

We are very excited to be able to help you on your journey. Post op Physiotherapy is very crucial to your future well-being. We will give you the confidence and reassurance at each step of the way to ensure a full and successful recovery!

Call 604 398 2936 and speak to any of our staff to learn more or schedule an appointment.
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