Spinal Services

What is rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation is the process of getting you back into your normal pattern of activities after surgery.

Surgery is an event that happens on a particular day at a particular hospital. But rehabilitation is a process that may take many weeks or months as you strengthen those parts of your body affected by the operation.

Rehab usually starts as soon as possible after your operation, usually before you leave the hospital. Some types of rehab continue during an extended hospital stay. Usually, though, your rehab happens through an outpatient clinic or by seeing a physiotherapist of your choice in private practice.


When can rehabilitation help?

Rehabilitation helps after any surgery or significant health event. It’s used after cardiac surgery to improve breathing and stamina, after a stroke to improve the ability to complete everyday tasks and after musculoskeletal surgery to help strengthen the affected area.

Rehabilitation may help after:

Within 4-8 hours of your surgery, hospital physios may encourage you to start moving. Once you’re home, your knee rehab continues, often involving exercises like pedalling a stationary bike, knee extensions and heel-to-toe walking exercises, progressing to more challenging exercises as directed by your physiotherapist.

The anterior cruciate ligament is a strong band of tissue that connects the thigh bone to the shinbone at the knee. It can be torn during sports like basketball, skiing or soccer where your knee may have to twist at speed.

Rehab after ACL surgery starts small, with simple exercises like bending and straightening your knee and regaining strength in your quads and hamstrings.

Once you’re off crutches and have regained full range of motion, your physiotherapist may recommend more intense exercises like:

  • Squats
  • Calf and hamstring stretches
  • Standing on one leg.

As time goes on, you may be encouraged to return to activities like swimming, cycling and jogging, as directed by your physio. As your fitness improves, rehab focuses on helping you return to your chosen sport.

Rehab after hip replacement surgery starts in your hospital bed with small exercises like ankle rotations, knee bends, butt clenches and moving your legs from side to side.

Then we move on to a program of exercises to be done while standing or walking, eventually progressing to going up and down stairs.

It can take several months to improve your hip mobility, muscle strength and endurance. Be patient with yourself and diligent in doing your exercises. You’ll get there.

Rehabilitation at The Brisbane Spine Clinic

Rehabilitation at The Brisbane Spine Clinic

At The Brisbane Spine Clinic, we love helping you get back on your feet and be able to live the active life you enjoy.

If you’ve suffered a musculoskeletal injury or condition that requires surgery, we’re here to help you prepare for the operation and recover as fully as possible afterwards. We support you through each step of that journey (sometimes literally!) with tailored exercises to improve your strength, mobility and stamina.


All information is general in nature. Patients should consider their own personal circumstances and seek a second opinion