The Journey after Surgery and the Missing Gap 

Working with an Orthopedic Surgeon and in post-operative care, it is often found that there is a disconnect between healing timeline readiness and functional readiness. 

It is common for a patient/athlete to push through the early phases of rehabilitation as that is where the most progress is seen. Once the patient feels they have reached a “back to normal” state they have a tendency to return to sport/activity too rapidly which can result in re-injury. After surgery, just because the tissue is “healed” doesn’t necessarily mean one is ready to return to sport. There is usually a lot of progress to be had in strength, speed, agility and mental preparedness prior to competing! 

7 phases that should be addressed before returning to sport. One should not progress without being proficient in the other. Some sports may require more emphasis or longer duration in phases than others, but each stage is addressed and can often overlap in the later stages. 

  • Passive Range of Motion
  • Active Range of Motion
  • Resisted Range of Motion
  • Bilateral Strength- Unilateral Strength – Plyometrics
  • Deceleration – Acceleration
  • Running Progression
  • Sports Specific

These phases are achieved with patient education/expectations, collaboration with other health/sport/fitness professionals, commitment and a proper return to sport plan. This does not mean that a patient needs to be seen on a weekly basis until return to sport. Often visits start weekly and then progress to bi-weekly or monthly, depending on one’s goals. It’s about having guidance throughout and the ability to adjust exercises based on performance and progression. Patients may experience setbacks or the general busy life becomes an obstacle of the rehabilitation process. We are here to guide patients through this journey and help manage and adjust accordingly. Another big component is making sure the patient feels confident in themself and their surgery to mentally return safely. Fortunately, we are able to test patients and their abilities, to guide their return to sport.

Acumen has an unique sports medicine model with an orthopedic surgeon, athletic therapists, kinesiologists and strength and conditioning specialists. Therefore, we are all able to collaborate to make sure that a patient is ready for return to sport by ensuring the tissue has healed, the rehabilitation stages have been met, the fitness level is met and the sports specific movements has been simulated and practiced. We are always available for questions, guidance and general communication. We also understand the importance of collaboration with coaches, team trainers and parents when needed to support the patient’s return to sport. We support our patients through the FULL post-op journey!

Whether you have had surgery or know someone who has, in either the public or private system and looking to rehabilitate, Acumen is here for you!