View Full Version : Physical therapy

10-25-2005, 05:27 PM
I have a question for those who have had scoliosis surgery. When is the best time to undergo physical therapy? I notice many people don't start until after 3-4 months postop, whereas my doctor said I could start after 3 weeks postop. I am wondering which is best--the earlier or the later? Or maybe a combination of the two? I think my insurance covers a maximum of 20 visits.

10-25-2005, 11:08 PM
Judy, After my surgeries in 2004 I didn't start PT until I was 7 to 8 months post-op. I started off with 3 times a week, 2 days in the pool and 1 day in the gym. After a month it was changed to 2 times a week, 1 day in the pool and 1 day in the gym. That schedule also went for a month. After my June 2005 surgery I started PT at 7 weeks post-op 1 day a week for 6 weeks. That surgery was no where as extensive as the 2004 surgery. After my 6 month check up the end of November I'm supposed to start strength training PT if everything is looking good. PT is not always required. It just depends on how your muscles are coping with the new changes.

10-26-2005, 10:12 AM

I started VERY light PT and OT immediately following surgery. A PT and OT both came to my house 2-3 times/week to work my legs, neck and shoulder muscles which were experiencing quite a bit of atrophy as I was not allowed out of bed for 5 days following surgery due to complications. This continued for 6 weeks. At the 4 month point, I talked with my surgeon about starting PT on my lower back. He doesn't usually prescribe PT but my lower back muscles weren't progressing with my regular daily activities and were very stiff and causing a lot of pain. With PT, they gradually introduced me to weights and pulleys and the strength and muscle use I re-gained was amazing! I noticed a difference in just the first 3 visits.

10-26-2005, 02:51 PM
I started in the hospital for the leg/arm muscles, but changed some of it when I got home as I was in more pain doing them, so I did my own routine, plus walking everyday and swimming lightly at about one-two month post op. I have been doing some PT on and off for years since the surgery, to help either the lower back or the neck/arms. But the important thing is to know if it helps and stop and/or change the routine if it hurts more than it helps.

10-26-2005, 06:13 PM
Hi Judy,

I was given a few exercises at 2 weeks post op. Mostly abdominal exercises.

At 6 months post op. I started strengthening exercise of entire body...legs, arms, shoulder, back. It was a turning point for me.

Kindest Regards,

10-27-2005, 12:55 PM
I worked with a PT in the hospital, but it was just on walking and making sure I could climb stairs before I went home. Nothing more.

My surgeon didn't want me doing any physical therapy for six months, and would really have preferred that I put it off until the 1 yr mark, if memory serves. I ended up going at 6 months due to increasing muscle spasams...

10-27-2005, 02:41 PM
I do know that all the orthos and doctors I have seen prefer swimming and walking as far as exercises, they think that it is better for the pain and the overall health/pain. I know that's what helped me most.