Tips for a Safe Return to Activity After Surgery

If you’re facing or you’ve recently gone through surgery, you’re likely wondering when you will be able to return to active pursuits without risking re-injury or introducing a chronic problem area. The following tips are meant as guidelines to help you gauge a safe return to activity:

• You have no swelling
• You are pain free
• You have full range of motion (comparing the injured with the uninjured part)
• You are almost back to full strength or are at least at 90 percent
• If you’ve had lower body surgery, you should be able to perform weight-bearing on hips, knees, and ankles
• If you’ve had upper body surgery, you should be able to perform movements without pain and with proper form

Even if you feel totally recovered, you might still be strength, flexibility, skill, or joint stability deficits. You’ll likely need to be extra careful with the injured area for several months.

And, as always, the best tip is to listen to your physical therapist, who can best safely and effectively guide you to recovery.

Ryan Mitchell