Pre-Operative Therapy

Studies have shown that participating in physical therapy prior to surgery may help speed post-operative recovery by increasing initial levels of strength and function. Having a greater strength and fitness level may also decrease the likelihood of inpatient rehabilitation. Based on these findings, many surgeons and some insurance plans are requiring pre-operative physical therapy to help increase strength, range of motion, and endurance, and to decrease swelling prior to your surgical procedure.

Your physical therapist will work with you on these goals within the parameters of your pain tolerance. They will make sure you are familiar with the exercises you will be performing after surgery and answer any questions you may have regarding your post-operative rehab. They will also make recommendations for helping control post-operative pain and swelling.

Post-Operative Therapy

With any surgical procedure a certain amount of pain, swelling, loss of motion, and loss of strength are to be expected. Your Physical Therapist will evaluate these issues and assess how they are affecting you in your daily life. They will get to know you and understand the goals you want to accomplish and establish a plan to help you reach those goals.

Working with your doctor and following any particular protocol they may have, your Physical Therapist will guide you through the healing process. Unless otherwise indicated by your surgeon, on your first post-operative visit your Physical Therapist will remove the dressing from your surgical area to inspect your incision and make sure you are healing properly. They will do an assessment to determine your areas of deficit and design a customized program to address your needs and goals. Most programs initially work to decrease your pain and swelling, which will help you feel better. Other areas that may be addressed include: improving range of motion, strength, balance, gait training (walking), and posture.

If you are an athlete trying to return to sport we will conclude your post-operative program with progressive sport specific training. For more information regarding return to sport please refer to Sports Injury Management.

These are some common post-operative diagnoses we see in our facility:


  • Fracture
  • Joint Replacement
  • Labral Tear


  • Carpal Tunnel
  • CMC Replacement
  • Fracture
  • Trigger Finger


  • Biceps Tendon Repair
  • Labral Tear
  • Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty
  • Rotator Cuff Repair
  • Subacromial Decompression (SAD)
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Total Shoulder Arthroplasty


  • Fracture
  • Median Nerve release
  • Total Elbow Replacement
  • UCL (Tommy John)
  • Ulnar Nerve Transposition


  • Discectomy
  • Fusion
  • Laminectomy


  • ACL
  • Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction
  • Chondroplasty
  • Joint Replacement
  • Joint Resurfacing
  • Lateral Release
  • Robot-Assisted Joint Replacement and Resurfacing
  • Meniscus Repair
  • OATS
  • Osteotomy
  • PCL


  • Achilles Repair
  • Bunionectomy
  • Fracture
  • Fusion
  • Ligament Reconstruction
  • Tarsal Coalition
  • Tendon Transfers