Post-operative rehabilitation

Post-fracture rehabilitation encompasses a wide range of interventions depending on the type and severity of injury sustained. When a fracture occurs it is important to seek emergency treatment. Controlling the movement of the broken bone prevents further injury. Often fractures are treated with surgery. Following surgery, the person is placed in the care of a team of professionals consisting of a doctor, nursing staff, a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist.

Pain management during rehabilitation is an important consideration to allow the person to begin moving the injured part as quickly as possible. Pain may lead to guarding of the affected part, resulting in disuse. Pain is best managed with ice, heat, ultrasound, acupuncture, massage and other physiotherapy treatment techniques. This will help to make the patient more comfortable and therefore more tolerant to exercise. Pain controlling medication should also be made available to patients after surgery,

Following surgery a person may have some swelling (also referred to as oedema). This will be treated with ice, rest, compression and elevation.

Proper positioning is essential to reducing oedema. A person with an upper extremity fracture may have the limb immobilised in a sling, however the arm should be rested on pillows when the person is seated or lying down. It should never be allowed to hang down. For fractures of the lower extremity, the leg should be supported on a low stool during sitting and on pillows or bolsters when lying.

Early movement of the affected body part is essential to reduce oedema, prevent stiffness or atrophy from lack of use. Depending on the type of fracture, we may need to do passive range of movements, which means we move the limb through its available range of movement for you, without you having to contract your muscles to do so. Active range of movement follows as soon as possible, depending on the surgeon’s protocols. It is important for patients to go back to performing their normal ADLs (activities of daily living) as soon as they can to gain a feeling of independence as well as regaining function and strength.

Post-surgery rehabilitation may also involve getting rid of scar tissue which may build up when healing begins. We may use massage and deep frictions of the scarred area to soften scar tissue, followed by stretching. Active exercise against resistance is usually started about 6-8 weeks following surgery.

If you have sustained a fracture that required surgery, call us to find out how we can help with your rehabilitation back to normal function.


This website is intended to be an educational resource of information. Please note that not all of the techniques described are offered at this location. Please call 778-574-1919 to find out what services we can offer you. We do not warrant or represent that the information in this site is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use. We recommend that you seek individual advice before acting on any information in this site. We have made every effort to ensure that the information on our website is correct at the time of publication but recommend that you exercise your own skill and care with respect to its use. If you wish to purchase our services, please do not rely solely on the information in this website.

I have been going to this clinic now for close to 2 years, the front of house staff are very friendly and the therapists are excellent - I really like how they always ask how you feeling/doing that particular day and adjust your treatments if needed, very beneficial to me as I have multiple areas that require attention. I would recommend this clinic.


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