Importance of Rehabilitation after Orthopedic Surgery

Importance of Rehabilitation after Orthopedic Surgery | Chris Boone, MD

Orthopedic surgery is often carried out when there is a problematic tendon, muscle, or joint in the body. This treatment is used to correct the underlying problem when it affects the quality of life of the patient. However, your treatment doesn’t end with the successful completion of the surgery. Dr. Chris Boone M.D., our skilled and experienced Bellevue orthopedic surgeon, believes in providing patients with a holistic approach to their treatment. After the surgery, you will go through a rehabilitation program that includes physical therapy. In this blog, we discuss the importance of engaging in rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery.

Types of Orthopedic Surgery

If you are suffering from a musculoskeletal condition you may have been referred to a Bellevue orthopedic surgeon. The Bellevue orthopedic doctors at our clinic provide surgical solutions to deal with conditions that are not responding to conservative treatments. They deal with injuries and diseases that affect the bones, muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Some of the most common types of orthopedic surgeries performed at our clinic include:

  • Joint replacement

This is a procedure that involves the replacement of severely damaged joints with artificial ones (i.e. a prosthetic). Some common types of joint replacement surgeries include knee replacement, shoulder and rotator cuff surgery, and hip replacement surgery.

  • Joint revision surgery

Our skilled Bellevue orthopedic surgeon performs joint revision surgery when a prosthetic joint wears out or in instances where a patient’s body has rejected the material used for the prosthetic. This surgery may also be performed when a prosthetic has failed to function as required.

  • Spinal fusion

This procedure is performed on patients with problems affecting the vertebrae such as herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, and scoliosis. Our Bellevue orthopedic doctors work to fuse the vertebrae to stabilize the spine.

  • Bone fracture repair

These procedures are performed on complex fractures. They involve the placement of plates, screws, or pins to immobilize and stabilize the bone to allow for natural healing.

Types of Rehabilitation Exercises

Our Bellevue WA orthopedic surgeon recommends rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery to:

  • Manage pain – rehabilitation helps to stimulate blood flow to the surgical site. This helps to reduce inflammation. This in turn helps to reduce pain.
  • Reduce your recovery time – increased circulation to the surgical site will help to increase the rate of healing of the tissues at the site. This increases the rate of recovery.
  • Restore mobility – rehabilitation will help to restore movement to the joint. This will help to increase your mobility in the long term.

Rehabilitation after orthopedic surgery may include a wide variety of exercises. The specific type of exercises included in your rehabilitation program will depend on the type of surgery you have undergone, the areas affected, and your physical ability. Some common rehabilitation exercises include:

  • Knee extension

This exercise is aimed at improving the range of motion and strength of the knee joint after knee replacement surgery. Lie on your back and bend one knee and place a cushion under the knee. Extend the leg with the bent knee to bring your toes to point to the ceiling. Hold the leg straight for a few seconds and then allow it to fall. Repeat about 15 times. Do this three times a day.

  • Straight leg raises

This exercise is effective for strengthening the muscles around the hip. It also helps to strengthen those around the knee. Lie on your back with your legs stretched out. Bend one knee and place your foot flat on the floor. Lift the straight leg to bring the foot about 20 centimeters from the floor. Hold the raised leg for about 20 seconds and return to the starting position. Do this about 15 times for three sessions a day.

  • Wrist rotation

This exercise helps to increase flexibility and strength in the wrist. Make circles with your fists around the wrist joint. If you feel limitations in movement in any direction, hold your wrist in that position for a few seconds. This will help to improve mobility in all directions.

  • Hip abduction

This exercise is effective for strengthening the glutes and other muscles around the hip joint. It also helps to strengthen the ankles and knees and will improve stability of the entire lower body. Stand straight and hold the wall or a chair for support. Shift your weight to one leg and lift the other sideways. Hold the lifted leg for a few seconds and bring it back. Repeat this 15 times and three sessions in a day.

Monitoring Progress during Rehabilitation

Your progress during rehabilitation is monitored by our doctors. The patient’s performance in the exercises is monitored for a range of motion, improvement of strength as well as post-surgical complications. Software that takes readings from microchip sensor nodes attached to muscles surrounding the joint may also be used.


Are you suffering from a disease or injury that affects the musculoskeletal system? Contact our clinic and schedule a consultation with the best Bellevue orthopedic surgeon.

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