What happens if you don’t have physical therapy after ankle surgery?

A severe ankle fracture. Torn ankle ligaments. An ankle joint with end-stage osteoarthritis. People with any of these issues are likely to seek relief from ankle surgery. 

Ankle surgery isn’t as common as total hip or knee replacements, but it is used to help people with severe ankle conditions. However, some people might not consider what could happen if they don’t do physical therapy after their ankle surgery. The reality is that making such a decision can lead to several challenges during your recovery. 

Three challenges not doing physical therapy after ankle surgery can lead to

The primary goal of physical therapy after ankle surgery is to help you recover faster and more smoothly. It can be harder to meet this goal when you don’t go to therapy after your surgery. In fact, avoiding post-surgical therapy can lead to three specific challenges:

  1. Increased swellingSwelling is a natural part of your body’s post-surgery healing process. Yet, there are downsides to letting swelling go on for too long. For one thing, swelling reduces range of motion in your ankle. It can also increase your post-surgical pain. Without the help of a physical therapist, you are more likely to have swelling for weeks or months after your procedure. 
  1. Decreased ankle flexibilityFlexibility is the ability a joint has to move through its normal range of motion without pain. By avoiding physical therapy, you’ll miss out on learning flexibility exercises. The decreased flexibility after surgery can keep healing from occurring as fast. This is because inflexible joints and tissue tend to have less blood flow, which means fewer nutrients can get to the ankle to run the healing process. 
  1. Higher ankle instability — Ankles are typically immobilized after a surgery; however, this can lead to weakness in muscles. Weak muscles translate to a less stable ankle. Additionally, instability in your ankle is more likely to cause future injuries. Strengthening exercises can help alleviate these issues, but you may not know which to choose or how often to do them without a physical therapist’s help. 

Back in Motion offers effective physical therapy after ankle surgery

Decided to change your mind and do physical therapy after ankle surgery? Great! Our team of Back in Motion therapy specialists is ready to offer you effective post-surgical rehab. 

Our physical therapists can evaluate your ankle to determine what post-surgical issues you’re facing. Then, we’ll build you an individualized rehab plan intended to reduce pain and supercharge your recovery. You can even get care from us at home when moving around right after surgery is tough, and this is possible thanks to our virtual therapy and at-home care services. 

Contact us today for more information about our post-surgical therapy services or to schedule your initial appointment. 

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