Small animal post operative rehabilitation

Here is a nice video of a range of motion exercise for dogs after cruciate surgery.

Some of my clients are having operations this week so this has triggered me to write about post operative rehab.

Aims of rehabilitation:

  • —Reduce pain
  • —Promote healing
  • —Preserve muscle mass
  • —Increase/ maintain joint range of motion
  • —Prevent compensations and restore normal movement
  • —Enhance functional return & weight bearing.

What immobilisation does:

  • žMuscle: atrophy of type 1 slow twitch fibres – Williams et al (2003)
  • žLigament: ligament atrophy, a decrease in tensile strength.
  • žCartilage: there is a thinning of cartilage & a decrease in synovial fluid
  • žBone: loss of subchondral bone, osteophytes & periarticular fibrosis.

These can be prevented by physio modalities to reduced pain, aid healing & maintain range of movement/ strength- 1st 24hrs to 1 week:

  1. Ice
  2. TENS
  3. LLLT- low level laser therapy
  4. Stretching/ passive range of motion
  5. Functional exercise
  6. Massage
  7. Positioning especially with any neurological impairment.

Most of the research supports the need for proper rehabilitation after surgery. You wouldn’t ask a nurse to give you physio if you have surgery so consider this with your pets.

If your animal is about to have an operation or just had one then contact us now to book on 077813202038.

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