Does everyone need physical therapy after ankle surgery?

Physical Therapy After Ankle Surgery

If you ask a physical therapist, the answer, of course, is yes. In fact, therapists and surgeons might recommend starting physical therapy before your surgery even takes place. 

A medical survey reports that 5,500 ankle surgeries were performed in 2012. The surgeries counted in this survey were done to help patients with end-stage ankle arthritis. However, ankle surgery can also be done for other reasons. For instance, it can be performed to repair muscles after a sports injury. It can also repair ligaments or bones after a serious ankle sprain or fracture. No matter why you’re having ankle surgery, the odds are good that physical therapy can offer you several benefits afterward. 

Three benefits your physical therapy after ankle surgery might offer

Physical therapy done after surgery is commonly called post-surgical rehab (PSR). Typically, the PSR process will involve an assessment of your ankle. This will help your therapist learn which specific challenges you’re dealing with. 

Additionally, your therapists will build you a personalized PSR plan. The combination of methods in your PSR program will be designed to offer you many benefits. Three of the specific benefits your physical therapy after ankle surgery might offer include: 

  1. Improving muscle strength — Research shows that immobilizing your ankle after surgery can cause issues. One issue it can cause is decreased muscle volume. A medical study shows that one patient lost almost 22% of her calf muscle volume after a four-week ankle immobilization. The study also reveals that more than 12% of the lost calf muscle volume had been regained after two months of recovery. 
  1. Increasing motion — After immobilization you will have a lack of mobility.  This will contribute to decreased ability to complete your normal daily activities and can contribute to pain. 
  1. Decreasing pain — Pain is a common post-surgical symptom. PSR after ankle surgery has been shown to decrease pain. Joint mobilization (JM) is a type of manual therapy that can help patients meet this goal. One study shows that patients who had JM after an ankle injury reported an immediate decrease in pain after one session.

Franklin Rehabilitation can help you find the post-ankle surgery physical therapy you need

Are you or someone you know looking for effective physical therapy after ankle surgery? Our team at Franklin Rehabilitation has just what you’re looking for. We offer complimentary screenings designed to reveal your post-surgical issues. Our team also excels at creating personalized post-surgical rehab plans to fit your needs. 

Take the next step to start getting our help after your ankle surgery. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.