You may have worked hard to return to normal activity and function.
if you do need to have the hardware removed from your bone after it has healed, you may benefit from physical therapy after the procedure to help you get moving again.
After hardware removal, you will most likely be wearing a cast or removable immobilizer to help stabilize your ankle (or any other body part) after the surgery. This period of immobilization often results in loss of range of motion and strength around the body part in the immobilizer.
During your physical therapy evaluation, your therapist will likely take various measurements. These include, but may not be limited to:
-Surgical scar tissue assessment
-Gait and weight bearing status
Treatment will likely begin a few weeks after hardware removal, and your physical therapist will focus on the impairments that were identified during your initial evaluation.
Some types of treatments that you can expect from your physical therapist include:
-gait training ,you'll most likely be walking with a walker or crutches after your surgery. Your physical therapist can work with you to help you progress from walking with two crutches to one crutch, and then to a cane. Ultimately, the goal of gait training is to be able to walk independently with no assistive device.
-Joint mobilizations and range of motion exercises can be performed to help you improve the mobility around your joint.
-Specific strengthening exercises may be necessary to help improve strength and overall mobility.
- Surgical scar tissue may have developed, and specific techniques like scar massage may be beneficial to help improve the mobility around the scar tissue.
- Your physical therapist may choose to use various treatments and modalities to help manage your post-operative pain and swelling.
-Ice and heat may be used, as well as other physical agents like TENS or ultrasound. Be sure you understand exactly what treatments are being used to treat your pain, and ask any questions to your physical therapist if you have any.
-As you progress in your treatment, your physical therapist will work with you on specific activities that you may wish to return to
>You can expect to start physical therapy a few weeks after your hardware removal surgery. Range of motion and strength gains can be made quickly, and within 4-6 weeks you should be back to your previous level of function.
If your surgery and physical therapy are successful, you should notice improved range of motion and mobility and decreased pain as compared to your pre-operative status. Remember that everyone heals at different rates, and everyone's specific injury is different. Be sure to speak with your doctor so you know exactly what to expect with your specific condition.
By staying motivated and working hard in physical therapy, you can maximize your chances of having a successful outcome after hardware removal surgery.