Frequently Asked: “How soon can I…………?”

How Soon Can I ………?

A question our Physios get asked very frequently is “How soon after surgery can I return to…… work / driving /  sport /  normal / etc? ”

Our Wigan Physiotherapist Stef has given us her thoughts……..

There are lots of different factors influencing this answer; depending on what surgery you have had, your age, your level of fitness prior to surgery and your goals. We follow a protocol for every surgery and each of these have different timeframes which we work towards.

Rough examples of timeframes for the above are:

Driving: 6 weeks for hip replacement but earlier for most other surgeries. In most cases it’s when you can comfortably perform an emergency stop.

Fly: 4-6 weeks to limit the risk of blood clot. In certain short-haul circumstances this can be less.

Work: this will depend on if your job is manual or sedentary and what surgery you’ve had. We look towards 7-10 days up to 3-6 months.

Sport: if your affected limb is required for that sport (e.g. ACL for football / shoulder for tennis) then return to sport is usually between 7-9 months. For more minor surgeries return to sport can be 3 months.

‘Back to Normal’: this will depend on your long term goal but on the whole this can take as long as 12 months.

However, we treat every patient as an individual; so although these timeframes are a good target to aim towards, we will instead make sure you achieve all the mini-milestones required prior to progressing.

These milestones may include; has your scar healed, have you got good / full range of movement in the joint, is there any swelling, is there any pain, is your strength equal, can you run….etc. Each individual will achieve these targets at different times.

This is far more important rather than trying to rush back to certain activities – so do not worry if your rehab is slower in certain areas. Don’t focus on the timeframe. Focus on the goals.

We will answer any questions in more detail on a patient to patient basis.

Thanks for reading!