Following a debilitating wrist condition or injury, wrist surgery is the initial stride toward restoring your wrist mobility while alleviating pain. After wrist surgery, it is crucial to commit to rehabilitation and recovery plans to avoid surgery complications and enjoy its maximum benefits.
Like any orthopedic surgery, the recovery period after wrist surgery warrants some patience. Nevertheless, a well-structured rehab plan, which includes physical therapy, can help reduce wrist pain, prevent complications, restore the range of motion of the wrist, improve strength, and enhance the overall functions of the wrist.
Let’s discuss the role of physical therapy in rehab and recovery following wrist surgery and where you can go for outstanding physical therapy in Miami Lakes and Plantation, FL.
Physical Therapy as a Part of Post-Op Wrist Rehabilitation Plan
Physical therapy is a crucial component of post-surgery wrist rehabilitation. Your physical therapist can work with you to develop a personalized exercise program tailored to your specific wrist conditions and needs.
The program will include several strengthening exercises, stretching exercises, range of motion exercises, and functional activities to minimize the risk of re-injury and ensure steady improvement.
Typically, a physical therapy program for post-operative rehabilitation has the following goals.
Besides prescription pain medications, physical therapy also helps manage post-op pain and discomfort. A physical therapy program to manage post-op pain may include:
- Ice and heat therapy
- Immobilization and bracing
- Manual therapy, such as massage and scar tissue management
All these pain management strategies aim to reduce pain levels, improve comfort, and enhance the overall rehabilitation process.
Range of Motion Improvement
Wrist surgery and immobilization after the surgery can lead to stiffness in the wrist joint. A physical therapy program includes a range of motion exercises that help improve flexibility, mobility, and overall movement of the wrist joint after surgery. Additionally, these exercises help prevent joint stiffness, restore the wrist’s ability to move in various directions, and promote tissue healing.
Typically, the range of motion exercises are introduced gradually, starting with gentle movements and progressing as the wrist heals.
Wrist Strengthening and Functional Restoration
Wrist strengthening and functional restoration are essential components of post-surgery wrist rehabilitation. Physical therapists offer wrist-strengthening exercises that target the muscles of the forearm and the wrist, which may have become weak due to post-operative immobilization. These exercises also help improve wrist stability, grip strength, and overall upper extremity function.
Physical therapy plans also include exercises focused on mimicking real-life movements and situations to enhance the functional ability of the wrist. A combination of strengthening exercises and functional restoration exercises can lead to improved stability, mobility, and ability to perform daily activities.
Reduced Scar Tissue Formation
Scar tissues are the normal part of the healing process of the body. However, excessive or poorly managed scar tissue can lead to restriction in wrist joint mobility, decreased wrist functionality, and discomfort. A physical therapist can perform scar massage, provide silicone gel sheets, perform stretching and range of motion exercises, and offer ultrasound therapy to break down the adherence and improve tissue mobility.
Tips for a Successful Recovery After a Wrist Surgery
In addition to physical therapy, there are some things that you can do to help your wrist recover faster following wrist surgery. They are:
- Keep your wrist elevated to help with swelling.
- Follow your physical therapist and wrist surgeons’ instructions carefully.
- Be patient, and do not push yourself too hard.
- Stay positive and motivated.
- Eat a healthy and nutritious diet.
- Stay hydrated.
- Listen to your body and rest when you need to.
Wrist Surgeon in Miami Lakes and Plantation, FL
If you have pain in your hand or wrist and seek a wrist surgeon who can perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the underlying cause of your wrist pain and disability, visit our orthopedic doctor, Dr. Tosca Kinchelow, at The Orthopaedic Hand and Arm Center. Our board-certified and exceptionally skilled wrist surgeon has specialized in treating a comprehensive range of orthopedic conditions and injuries of the upper extremities, including the wrist. Dr. Kinchelow uses a range of surgical and non-surgical treatments to address injuries and conditions of the hand, wrist, and shoulder.
If you would like to know more about our wrist surgeon or want to schedule a consultation with her, call our office today at (888) 908-9036 or use our convenient online appointment request form.