In case you are (or, actually, in case you aren't) a big planner, we've got some tips for your post-surgical recovery that will make your physical therapy routine at least one thousand times more enjoyable. Follow these three easy tips and you'll be on your way to recovery before you even start your rehab routine.
- Schedule an appointment before you go in for surgery. It isn't uncommon to get a phone call from patients in the recovery room after their surgery wanting the first available appointment they can get. Just like you scouted out the perfect surgeon and checked their credentials before you let them cut into you, you'll want to have the same process for screening your physical therapist. One of my favorite patients called five times and visited the office more than twice before he committed to coming for his total knee replacement physical therapy. Coming across offices who don't like the scrutiny? Move along to a physical therapy office that knows it has what it takes to measure up and make the final cut. Don't put yourself in a situation where you're forced to go with a therapist you aren't excited about just because they can start within your last minute time crunch.
- Pick an office you'll be able to get to easily, or one where the commute is something you'd do without a complaint. Take a second and really think it over. Are you living in Lincoln Towers in the Upper West Side and undergoing a total hip replacement? Well, you might not want to be taking a cab across town or making your way to the subway for every pt appointment. Pick an office you can easily walk to, practicing your even gait and smooth stride the whole, easily strolled, way. Moving around not your problem? Still consider whether the location or amenities of the office are going to be somewhere you're excited about going after a long day at work. Physical therapy is hard work, try to find a place that makes it seem like a bonus or a perk in your day instead.
- Commit to an office with an environment you feel comfortable in. We will often cater the music station to the preferences of our patients and clients and it's one of my favorite things we will do at Sloane Stecker. You'll be spending a lot of time, potentially in a lot of pain, at this office and with the therapists, technicians, and staff so be sure it is a place you feel comfortable and welcomed. If it seems too much like a factory with five minute consults and a thousand patients on the schedule each day and you like one-on-one therapy sessions with plenty of access to your therapist, well, that's not the pt office for you.
Post-surgical physical therapy is no fun, but if you go into surgery with a solid plan for recovery in place the process will be much more pleasant. Having your first pt appointment scheduled at an office you'll be able to get to easily and that you'll really enjoy being at are the first, and most important, steps in having a stress free post-surgical recovery.