Adrian from iMove Physiotherapy Miranda covers the 3 things you need to think about before getting surgery. Often when we are injured we very rapidly spiral from GP to specialist to surgery without having much say or consideration in the matter. Read on to see what you need to cover before committing to surgery.
8-12 Weeks of ‘Good’ Physiotherapy
If you’re about to get surgery I want you to ask yourself, “Have I done 8-12 weeks of good physio and strength work.”
We know that 8-12 weeks is a good physiological window for the body to repair itself and start getting stronger. If you have a good physio and they are progressing your injury with gradual loading over 8-12 weeks this will give you the answer you are looking for.
After strengthening you will have a black or white answer. If you are better (which is most cases) then you obviously don’t need it. If you aren’t better than you can say that you have tried everything and you probably need it. The good news is, you’ve now done 8-12 weeks of strengthening before your surgery and we know that you will get better outcomes from your surgery.
What Does the Evidence Say?
As patients, it can be hard to find a truly objective answer. The fact is there are a lot of common surgeries that have no better outcomes than doing your 8-12 weeks of strength work. If there are no better outcomes than we would have to ask, “why would I choose the invasive, higher risk option?”.
Some surgeries that have been shown to be no better than strengthening or the ‘conservative’ route are things like;
- Shoulder arthroplasty.
- Minor surgeries for shoulder bursitis, shoulder impingement.
- Surgery for small rotator cuff tears of the shoulder.
- Knee Meniscus or ‘Knee Clean Ups’.
Do You Need It?
Often we rush to surgery when something is torn or worn. We have learned, in recent years, that these small ‘wear and tears’ around the body are normal and do not at all correlate to pain. Think of them like wrinkles on your skin, a sign of ageing, but not painful.
Some examples of things that don’t need surgery as often as you think are rotator cuff tears of the shoulder, hamstring avulsions, ACL tears.
For example the ACL isn’t really required if you only wish to stay strong and healthy and move in straight lines or run. You only really need your ACL if you are playing fast, multi-directional sports.
We are not discouraging surgery or your GP’s or specialists recommendation. We are simply asking you to consider the major factors before committing to a big decision. Often 8-12 weeks of strengthening will get you the same, if not, better outcome than surgery.
Do the work, do your research, and as always feel free to reach out to us.
As always feel free to message us on the drift chat box, email or book in online at 1 of our 3 locations in Sydney;