Surgery Delayed By Covid


With the ups and downs of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, some U.S. hospitals and
medical institutions have opted to postpone elective surgeries. This includes non-
emergency surgeries scheduled to relieve pain and repair injuries related to the
musculoskeletal system – arthroscopy, ligament and tendon repairs, joint replacement
surgeries, and so on. Despite these delays, those whose surgeries were delayed need not sit
back and suffer. Physical therapy can be a proactive way to reduce pain while increasing
mobility and function until surgeries can be rescheduled. The goal of physical therapy is to help
people improve their quality of life by optimizing movement and reducing pain naturally. In a
lot of cases, physical therapists can help people avoid the need for surgery. But, even if surgery
is in your future, PTs can help you live a more comfortable and active life as you’re waiting to
reschedule your procedure.


Physical therapists can also help patients prepare themselves for surgery, strengthening their bodies so that they recover faster and without complication. Known as prehabilitation, or “prehab,” the goal is to prepare the body for both the surgery itself and the rehabilitation effort that follows. Prehabilitation is based on the simple philosophy that the stronger and more balanced your body and muscles are before orthopedic surgery, the stronger and better off you’ll be after. Multiple studies have shown this to be an
effective strategy. A study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, for example, found
that taking part in a physical therapy program before joint replacement surgery can reduce the
need for post-operative care by nearly 30 percent. The reason: when a person has reached the
point where they need orthopedic surgery, their bodies have oftentimes become accustomed to
compensating for pain and certain impairments. By seeing a physical therapist before surgery, you can address any bad movement habits, weaknesses, or flexibility issues that can impede the rehab process post-surgery.


As surgeries are delayed, this can also lead to great patient anxiety. Working with a physical
therapist during this period, however, can help reduce this anxiety while PTs better prepare
patients for the mental strain of surgery and rehabilitation. For those preparing for surgery, this
includes educating people about what to expect immediately after surgery and coaching them on
exercises they’ll need to know during the rehab process – all of which can ease anxiety. If your
orthopedic surgery has been delayed due to COVID-19, and you wish to stay active and pain-
free leading up to surgery, contact COAST Physical Therapy to schedule an initial
assessment. We are here to help you. Call today, 315-253-3291.

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