Muscle Surgery and
Options for Use At Home to Supplement Your Physical Therapy Surgical Recovery Process
Not every muscle injury or condition requires surgery.
It's generally understood by doctors and surgeons, that surgery will introduce more scar tissue into the muscle tissue. This added scar tissue will be problematic, requiring physical therapy and conservative treatment options post-surgery. If not dealt with properly, your injury could end up in worse condition than before the surgery! This is why surgery is only performed as a last resort - basically for chronic (long term) conditions, full ruptures of tendon/muscle/ligaments, arthritis, and/or severe, non-recoverable damage in a joint (ie. hip replacement due to fracture or extensive arthritis)..
Surgery is generally not considered until all conservative treatment options have been exhausted... or there is a large or complete tear in one or more of your muscles, tendons or ligaments. Barring this, doctors, orthopedic specialists and physical therapists will advise that you try at least 6 or more months of conservative therapy with no sign of improvement before surgery will even be considered.
If you are unsure about whether you need surgery, you may want to read through our "Do I Need Surgery Page, here.
Some conservative treatment methods recommended include:
- Rest - This is important for initial healing because without an appropriate amount of rest you are at risk for increased inflammation, pain and re-injury in the location of your injury.
- Avoid Activity that caused your injury. - While resting the area, it's also important to avoid all activities that may have caused your symptoms - including any repetitive movements (possibly work or hobby related). This may include reduced activities in your job if that has caused your injury. Continuing on with regular activities can increase the severity of your injury, turning a mild to moderate case of muscle strain into a downward spiral of atrophic damage that may eventually severely impact your life. We have spoken with past clients that have experienced exactly this!
- Apply a Cold Compress or Ice Pack - Immediate cold therapy at the onset of your injury (or during flareups) will allow you to manage pain while getting rid of swelling and inflammation.
- Use DTR Therapy (T•Shellz Wrap®) - After swelling and inflammation has been reduced. Use your own blood flow to maximize your rehabilitation, decrease recovery time, and boost overall long-term healing. Deep Tissue Therapy is especially helpful in dealing with soft tissue injuries, muscle spasms or on-going pain and stiffness from a chronic soft tissue injury (ie. tendonitis, muscle pull).
- Physical therapy and rehabilitative exercise under supervision of a physical therapist or doctor. The intent of this is to provide you with increased range of motion, pain relief and strengthening of the surrounding tissue of the joint. Caution: aggressive physical therapy (such as aggressive stretching or massage) can be harmful - when dealing with a joint that has very limited range of motion, there is high risk to further damage weak and damaged soft tissue. This could lead to the need for surgery, and this is why you need to seek out a physical therapist or physician as they can determine safe stretching parameters for you.
Other Conservative Treatment Methods can be Risky
In some cases, physicians may recommend drugs or medications like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to manage pain and inflammation. Alternative medications like cortisone injections can provide temporary relief from the pain of tendon related injuries and are very popular. However, such injections should be done sparingly ... or generally be avoided if at all possible - as they weaken the tendon and may lead to a rupture. If you do opt for an injection, doctors usually recommend that you do not participate in strenuous activities for several weeks to reduce the risk of a rupture.
"Medical evidence shows that cortisone shots can damage the surrounding tissue, fray the tendon and ligament tissue, and even trigger a rupture. Most side effects are temporary, but skin weakening (atrophy) and lightening of the skin (depigmentation) can be permanent." (reference: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
"Complications of cortisone shots can include:
"Risks - Cortisone Shots - Mayo Clinic". 2016. Mayoclinic.Org. Accessed November 17 2016. website
- Joint Infection
- Nerve Damage
- Thinning of skin & soft tissue around injection site
- Temporary Flare of Pain & Inflammation in the Joint
- Tendon Weakening or Rupture
- Thinning of Nearby Bone
- Death of Nearby Bone
- Temporary Increase in Blood Sugar"
If you are not at the surgery stage and your physician has opted to treat your injury with conservative treatment options, then you will find that many of our customers have had great success treating themselves with the powerful conservative treatment products such as the T•Shellz Wrap®. When used as directed, it is our opinion that the T•Shellz Wrap® will give you the best chances of soft tissue injury recovery at home without the need for surgery. If surgical intervention is required, talk with your physician about using these same products for post-surgery recovery as you will find them to be highly effective for reducing risk of re-injury, enhancing range of motion and minimizing scar tissue growth (which is a common problem in nearly any case of significant surgery).
If surgical intervention is required, talk to your physician about using these same products for post-surgery recovery as you will find them to be effective for reducing post-surgery inflammation, enhancing range of motion and minimizing scar tissue growth.
If Surgery is Required...
Surgery may be necessary if you have exhausted all forms conservative treatments, resting, cold therapy, physical therapy - and, you still find yourself in pain and have limited functionality in common daily activities. You and your doctor may decide to move forward and have you undergo surgery, triggering the next chapter of your injury recovery journey. A good point to remember is that your post surgery rehabilitation efforts will have an important impact on how soon you can return to living and enjoying your normal daily life.
The surgery that your surgeon will recommend for you will depend on the level of your pain, the type of injury you have, and the amount of damage there is in the area. Damage is typically determined from your physical exams, x-rays and MRI results. The length of time between the injury and the surgery is often also a determining factor in the type of surgery that will be required.
With acute (recent) tearing, the separation in your tendon / muscle / ligament is likely to be very minimal. If you have an acute tear you may qualify for less invasive surgery (such as a arthroscopic, open surgery or an mini-open procedure). Surgeons will always choose a shorter, less invasive procedure if it is possible to do so. Most surgeons know that a less complicated procedure will have less trauma to the muscle(s), resulting in a quicker rate of recovery after the surgery.
Has it been weeks or months since the injury?
If you're suffering from an acute muscle injury and surgery is needed your surgeon will have you wait up to 72 hours before they'll do the repair to the muscle tissue. This gives your body time for the injury to settle down.
If you have suffered a complete rupture of your muscle from the tendon it is important to have the tissue reattached. The muscle will shrink and you may lose strength or in some cases range of motion loss. Your doctor will advise you to wait at least 48 to 72 hrs after the injury to allow inflammation to be reduced. This is to allow the sutures a better chance of holding in the muscle fibres together for the repair.
If you're in pain why do they make you wait before they repair your muscle injury?
Your body will send a large amount of blood via inflammation to the tissue where the damage is located to start the healing process. Muscle tissue is very soft and squishy to begin with; damage or injury of any kind only further weakens the muscle. The increased blood flow makes the muscle tissue even softer, almost like Jello. During the first few days of injury, the surgeon will have a difficult time sewing your 'jello-like' tissue back together. If the surgeon even tried to do this it's likely that you'd end-up needing more surgery as the procedure to fix your muscle won't hold.
If you've suffered a complete rupture of your muscle it's important to have the tissue reattached. If not the muscle will shrink and you may lose strength, or in some cases, experience a decrease in your range of motion. Your doctor will advise you to treat your injury with cold compression for at least 48 to 72 hrs after the injury to allow the inflammation to be reduced. This must be done before any other therapy, treatment or surgery can happen.
As with any surgery there are risks to every procedure depending on a lot of factors, including your age, the severity of your injury and your level of health going into the procedure. It's always best to discuss all possible risks and complications with your doctor before the procedure. It's important to be aware of the risks you may face with any procedure intended to fix or relieve pain from your muscle injury.
One week after your muscle has ruptured, the muscle may begin travel away from the bone and / or separate from the remaining muscle. The ends of the tissue begin to fill in with scar tissue as part of the healing process. This added scar tissue decreases the natural strength of muscle and may negatively affect your ability to do normal activities.
Muscles begin to atrophy (waste away) only after a few days of disuse. As time passes the muscle fibers shrink and the muscle loses strength and the cells begin to die inside the muscle. (source: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons)
If scar tissue is present then a more complicated procedure may be needed to clean out the presence of any scar tissue for optimal healing after the surgery. The tissue that has ruptured may need to be retrieved from inside your other tissue back to the original attachment point. Your surgeon may make a larger incision into your skin so they're able to retrieve this tissue.
An injury that's 4 to 6 weeks old is considered a chronic rupture. When you have a chronic muscle rupture the tear continues to separate further over time, increasing the gap in the muscle. A chronic rupture requires a difficult, drastic surgery - often times there may be a transfer of tissue ("grafting") needed to complete the surgery and a lengthy recovery period.
Surgery: Learn & Understand The Risks
It is always highly recommended that anyone considering surgery always have a clear understanding of the risks as well as the benefits of elective surgery. In addition, one should be aware of the success rate of the particular surgery in question, combined with the post-surgical recommendations that will typically have an impact on your chances of success. Your surgeon should provide a treatment plan to help you regain normal use of the affected area as soon as possible.
Common Surgical Procedures for Soft Tissue Tears
The surgery performed to repair soft tissue usually involves one or more of the following surgical goals:
- Debridement - this is the removal of any loose fragments of tendon, bursa, bone or other debris from the area.
- Smoothing - the surgeon makes room so that tendons and muscles can function properly without being pinched (aka impingement). This sometimes results in shaving down of bony edges or spurs from bone so tendons can slide across without fraying. Common examples would be hip, shoulder and heel.
- Stitching - torn tendon edges are sewn back together and reattached to the bone if needed.
Open Muscle Surgery
This is the traditional surgery used when there's a large amount of damage in the area. This could include damage to one or more of the following: muscle, tendon, cartilage, ligaments and/or bone fractures. During this procedure one long incision is made in the area of your muscle injury.
An open incision this large provides enough room for the surgeon to prepare the tissue for repair by re-attaching the torn muscle to the tendon or sewing the torn edges of the muscle together. Non-absorbale sutures are used to bring both sides of the tear together and make sure that the repair is as strong as possible. A small screw/anchor is used to reattach the tendon/muscle back to the bone if the it has been ruptured completely.
Surgeons often use a strong nylon or polyester material to bring the edges of your torn muscle together. They use a locking-loop or three-loop pulley pattern to prevent the muscle tissue from gapping. This also provides the muscle with the 'tension' needed to ensure the muscle heals with stronger fibers. (source: US National of Library of Medicine - PubMed.gov)
An open procedure with precise suturing improves overall strength of your muscle during the recovery process, making it less likely to re-rupture in the future.
Debulking or Debridement of the Muscle Tissue
A debridement is a specific surgical technique where the surgeon removes damaged tissue from the body with the intent of helping the body heal better. Tissue targeted for removal is generally dead, infected or contaminated. As an example, soft tissue can be exposed in the event of an open fracture (a fracture that is exposed outside the body). In such cases, there is typically soft tissue that is contaminated (exposed to outside) and some soft tissue that is so damaged it cannot survive. In such cases, a surgeon will remove this soft tissue so the wound will heal faster and be less prone to infection.
Debridement is often performed during open muscle surgery. To perform a debulking or debridement the surgeon will cut away any damaged/inflamed tissue. If the muscle is ruptured at the tendon, they will also scrape down any calcium deposits (bone spurs) that have formed on the bone. Scar tissue may be removed from the muscle fibers, tendons, tendon sheath surrounding the tissue or from both surfaces.
Debulking or debridement of the muscle is used as a last resort, if all methods of conservative therapy have been exhausted, in chronic muscle conditions.
Mini-Open Muscle Repair
When a surgeon performs a "mini-open" repair, he/she will make one long incision in the skin and/or smaller vertical incisions depending on the area of your muscle injury. These smaller vertical incisions are made with a pair of surgical scissors and are commonly referred to as "stab incisions".
Once the incisions are opened up, the surgeon will place precise sutures in the muscle tissue with non-absorbable stitches to strengthen the damaged muscle tissue. This suturing technique reduces the amount of scar tissue in the muscle after surgery and provides better surface healing of the skin. Unlike the traditional method of an open surgery, this procedure has less risks and complications involved. To learn about all risks you may face be sure to speak to your doctor.
Percutaneous Muscle Surgery
This procedure can be done in 2 ways:
- Via regular (small) incisions
- or, "stab incisions" with a needle
When percutaneous surgery is done using small incisions, the surgeon will make 3 to 4 incisions (approx. 2.5 cm long) in the skin. Small forceps are used to free the soft tissue casing around your damaged muscle to make room for the surgeon to stitch/suture any tears.
As an alternative to the regular (small) incision approach, your surgeon may perform percutaneous surgery by using a surgical needle to repeatedly stab your tight and constricted muscle. These "stab incisions" will allow the surgeon to free up soft tissue that is abnormally tightened up (often from scar tissue), lengthening your muscle. The surgeon will typically enable ultrasound imaging to direct needle placements. This type of muscle surgery has been very successful in providing range of motion improvements. In most cases, the muscle in question has had open surgery with unsuccessful results and a build-up of scar tissue has further tightened the tissue.
As another option - some surgeons will use a combination of the above types, making 1 to 3 incisions for smaller surgical implements to repair soft tissue while relying on imaging ultrasound to see your damaged tissue. During either procedure the use of ultrasound imaging or endoscopic techniques requires a very skilled surgeon.
Arthroscopy can be a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used to diagnose and/or treat some conditions. If a doctor is unable to make a diagnosis following a physical exam, x-ray, and/or MRI, an arthroscopy may be performed to get a better look inside the injury area so a diagnosis can be made.
This type of surgery is normally used on joints of the body, like the shoulders or knees.
Arthroscopic surgery is usually performed with the patient under general anaesthetic. During surgery, tiny incisions (1/4" - 1/3") are made to insert the surgical instruments, and a thin tube containing a camera and light.
Arthroscopic muscle surgery will provide the surgeon with a first hand look into the nature of the injury and what work must be done to fix the injury. If the damage is not extensive, the surgeon will be able to complete the repair through an arthroscopic procedure. This is a minimally invasive procedure so it may limit the amount muscle tissue damage from surgery, helping promote a more effective recovery.
How Long To Recover From Muscle Surgery
If you're suffering from a chronic muscle injury that may require surgery your doctor will have you working hard on healing with conservative treatment therapies in an attempt to avoid surgery. This process may include consistent cold therapy to decrease swelling and inflammation (with a Cold Compress or Ice Pack), a deep tissue warming therapy to increase blood flow circulation and improve elasticity (Deep Tissue Therapy with a TShellz Wrap), muscle stretching guidlines and physical therapy.
Doctors will suggest that you give conservative treatment methods a try for anywhere between 6 to 30 weeks. This is done because your body has the natural ability to heal... It just needs help. If conservative treatments fail and your muscle injury remains in a state of non-healing, then surgical intervention is required to help kick start your natural healing process.
PostSurgery Recovery: The recovery you will face after muscle surgery will vary depending on the type of muscle you've injured in your body. Every muscle will tear differently, with different incisions and approaches to surgery, ultimately resulting in different recovery periods. This is why you need to speak to your physician or surgeon if you want a good recovery time estimate; if you are looking for more general estimates, we have included some below:
Forearm Muscle Surgery Recovery Time
This type of surgery is done most often with a mini-open repair. After your forearm muscle surgery it may take up to 6 weeks before you have full range of motion in your wrist and fingers. At this point you'll be able to use your arm and wrist for daily activities but a full return to weight bearing/load activities may take up to 9 months.
Trapezius Muscle Surgery Recovery Time
Repairing the trapezius muscle often requires a very involved process to protect your nerves and spine (if the injury is close to this area). In most cases a surgeon will repair this type of injury with an open surgery. The amount of work done by the surgeon in your open repair will affect how quickly you heal. The range of trapezius surgery can be small to large and full recovery may vary as widely as 3 weeks to 2 years.
Hamstring Muscle Surgery Recovery Time
Recovery from hamstring muscle surgery will often include many steps to the healing process. It's possible that you may not even start physical therapy appointments until 6 weeks after your surgery. Fully regaining complete strength of your hamstring muscle, which may include a return to sport without experiencing pain may take 4 to 5 months.
Calf Muscle (Tennis Leg) Surgery Recovery Time
After gastrocnemius release surgery (to repair your tennis leg injury) you can expect to start your recovery by wearing a boot brace on your calf/ankle for approximately 2 weeks. You may have to wear the brace up to 6 weeks at night. Healing and recovery from tennis leg surgery can take 8 to 12 weeks before returning to full acitivity. Some people suffer with ongoing weakness in their calf for up to 1 year after surgery.
Shin Splint Surgery Recovery Time
Having surgery for any type of shin splint injury is very rare. If you are a candidate of shin splint surgery your surgeon will perform a medial tibial stress syndrome surgery. People often experience pain reduction following shin splint surgery, but the success rate for fully returning to activity is quite low. This should be considered before having surgery. If you have undergone shin splint surgery you'll be on crutches for 2 weeks followed by normal walking. You won't be able to participate in any sports related activities for at least 6 weeks. If you're a runner you will not be able to resume until 3 months after your surgery with a gradual increase for both intensity and distance. A return to full activities my take between 6 to 12 months, but you may never return completel to the level of activity you were once at.
Quadriceps Muscle Surgery Recovery Time
A quadriceps muscle repair is a fairly simple, routine procedure. During your initial recovery you'll be placed in a brace that is locked between 0 to 30 degrees flex of your leg. After 4 to 6 weeks your range of motion exercises will increase and weight-bearing is encouraged and increased gradually. You may be required to wear the brace on your leg for 3 to 6 months and be restricted from contact type sports for 9 to 12 months.
Deltoid Muscle Surgery Recovery Time
Surgeons will usually perform a mini-open procedure to repair damage in the deltoid muscle. If you have suffered from an acute injury you may not need to wear a brace after your surgery. After the surgery is complete you should protect your shoulder at night when you sleep for at least 4 weeks.
Normally the more work the surgeon has done to repair the tissue, the more time you will spend recovering from the injury and surgery. You should expect not have full function of your shoulder and arm from 6 to 24 weeks. Physical therapy will be important to gain strength and range of motion in the shoulder. Preventing secondary conditions from developing is key to recovery. Lack of movement in the shoulder and deltoid muscle can weaken the arm and shoulder, leading to Frozen Shoulder.
Bicep Muscle Surgery Recovery Time
An open repair for the bicep muscle is typically only used to re-build a chronic tear or reattach tendon tissue to bone. Generally, the recovery period includes early rehabilitation at about 10 days and may continue for 4 to 6 weeks. It may take up to 20 weeks to fully return to activities after bicep surgery. A gradual return to sport-specific movement will need to happen as well to make sure the deltoid muscle is healing.
Immobilization & Rest for the Best Recovery
In almost all cases, postoperative care should include rest and restriction of movement for the affected area of the body. For some muscle injuries, 'rest' for the tissue can be made easier by immobilizing the injured muscle after surgery. For some injuries, soft tissue may need to remain immobilized for up to 6 weeks. Long-term immobilization in some cases will help the soft tissue that is forming be strong and healthy.
After Your Surgery
During the first 24 to 72 hours after surgery, the area will be tender, swollen and quite painful. The pain will typically be minimized through pain meds (oral or intravenous) for a short term duration. You may be weak and unstable for a while. You may also have been outfitted for a cast, crutches, brace or some other form of support aid to wear for a period of time. You will be forced to take it slow - how long will depend on many factors.
Right after surgery is when muscle loss easily gets very significant as it does not take long for unused muscle to disappear. This is a major reason why physical therapy is absolutely necessary - you need it to rebuild muscle strength and increase your range of motion (which is typically severely restricted due to the surgery).
It is important to understand that surgery may not bring back 100% functionality of your injured muscle, but you should be able to return to most if not all of your pre-injury activities. These surgical procedures are often performed with very successful results. What truly makes a difference is your commitment to a doctor recommended rehabilitation program after surgery as there is always a possibility of re-injuring your muscle even after a surgical procedure.
Ask any doctor and they will tell you that a large portion of the success in your recovery will depend on your level of dedication to regular at-home conservative treatments following surgery. Odds of a successful recovery are further improved through regular attendance of phyical therapy appointments and not overexerting/overstressing the recently fixed muscles/joints.
The incorporation of conservative treatments at home (as instructed by your physician or PT) will lessen the chance and/or severity of joint degeneration and muscular atrophy during your rehabilitation process.
Getting Started with Your Post-Operative Rehabilitation
If you have undergone surgery on your damaged muscle(s) and/or tendons then your physician will quickly get you on the path to rehabilitation. Now, the aggressiveness of your rehabilitation efforts and your injury's ability to heal will depend on a variety of factors including (but not limited to):
- your age, overall health and activity level
- the state of your injury before surgery (severe injuries like a tendon rupture, open wound, bone damage or fracture will require more intense surgery)
- the type of surgery you have undergone
- how soon you must return to normal activity
No two rehabilitation plans are alike - The less invasive your surgery is, the quicker your road to recovery will be.
Proper post-surgery rehabilitation is very important, perhaps even more important than the surgery itself. Most patients can leave the hospital the same day using crutches or a cane. You will be required to follow up with your surgeon and a physical therapist and they will advise you on your recovery.
The goal of a rehabilitation plan is to manage pain and swelling while improving function, strength, and range of motion. Ultimately, you will regain strength and return to full activity. You will most likely spend a lot of time with a physical therapist after your surgery, but as your healing progresses, emphasis will be placed on your personal at-home treatment. The success of your rehabilitation will depend on your dedication to working with your doctor and physical therapist while also managing your recovery on a daily basis at home.
Regardless of what type of surgery you've had (or even if you don't need surgery) your home therapy routine can be improved by controlling initial and on-going pain/swelling, and increasing blood flow to heal your muscle so that you can achieve long-term, positive results. This can easily be done by incorporating the use of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack and a T•Shellz Wrap® into your rehabilitation routine. Consistent use of these conservative treatment recovery tools will decrease your time spent in recovery. Speak to your doctor, surgeon or physical therapist about incorporating T•Shellz Wrap® treatments into your post-operative rehabilitation program to boost your overall recovery process.
Post-OP Phase 1:
Protect your Surgery Site & Start Moving
Each injury/condition will have different challenges for you after surgery. Your surgeon and/or doctor will provide you with clear direction on how to protect your wound and deal with pain so you can achieve a tolerable level of comfort during your recovery.
Directly after your surgery has been completed, you will go through Step 1 of the healing process by stopping the bleeding that has started because of the incisions and work done inside your body. Depending on the type of procedure you have just had, your soft tissue may be sutured together, reconstructed or removed to fix your underlying condition. In any case, as with any injury to soft tissue, there will be some bleeding. Depending on the type of injury you have, your surgeon may even stimulate bleeding during your surgery to trigger the healing process.
Typically, your body will have begun to stop the bleeding as soon as your surgeon has completed the surgery. This means that the veins carrying your blood will close off, and your blood will coagulate (condense to seal the bleeding off) in order to reduce the amount of blood loss in your body. Your body knows to do this automatically because blood is so vital to the healing process. Blood is basically the vehicle for oxygen, nutrients, white blood cells and anti-bodies that travel directly to damaged cells - where these things are needed most.
In order to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation your doctor will prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug to be taken during the first 4 weeks after your surgery, or for however long it is needed, depending on your pain level. Your surgeon will also recommend the use of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack on a frequent basis - multiple times per day - to control your inflammation and reduce your pain.
If your surgery was arthroscopic in nature, you will have relatively little bleeding/blood loss. Your doctor or surgeon will check before you leave to make sure bleeding at the incisions has stopped. If you have undergone an open surgery, your doctor and/or surgeon will check your incisions periodically over the next few days of your hospital-stay to ensure that your body has stopped the bleeding on its own and also make sure that your incisions are starting to heal.
After your incisions, repaired and/or removed tissue has stopped bleeding; the area will most likely become tender, swollen, red and hot to the touch - these are all symptoms of inflammation. Step 2 of the healing process is inflammation reduction. At this point you will be home if you have had arthroscopic surgery, or you may still be in the hospital if you have had open surgery. In order to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation, your doctor will prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug to be taken during the first week or 2 after your surgery. Your surgeon will probably recommend use of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack at this stage for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, to control inflammation and reduce pain.
Rest at this point is vital to your rehabilitation plan depending on the surgery you have undergone. If you have had arthroscopic surgery with minimal internal wounding from your surgeon, you may be encouraged to start movement early or as soon as possible. Limited movements of the area will be required in most cases after the surgery. If you have had an invasive open surgery, then you may be encouraged to rest longer at first before starting movement. Depending on the type of surgery you have undergone, rehabilitation with a physical therapist will begin 2-6 weeks after surgery.
Your doctor or surgeon will advance you to the next phase of rehabilitation when there is no evidence of inflammation or swelling in the area. If you have had arthroscopic surgery, your doctor may expect that you are able to move the area around pain free before moving onto the next Phase of rehabilitation.
Post-OP Phase 2:
Gain Back Range of Motion (ROM) &
After soft tissue starts to heal your muscle(s) will be in a weakened state and will not be as strong as they were previously for some time. This is why you need to be on "re-injury watch" and make the most of your physical therapy appointments and home therapies during your rehabilitation. It would be devastating to "overdo it" at any point during the first few months of rehabilitation as this would most likely send you right back into the operating room.
After the initial phase of your post surgery recovery (when Step 1 and 2 of the healing process is complete), temporary tissue will start to grow around soft tissue that was damaged during your injury or the surgery. Step 3 is the Growth of Temporary Tissue.
Typically - though not always, approximately 2-6 weeks after surgery your surgeon will recommend regular physical therapy appointments where you will be encouraged to (1) gain back range of motion (ROM), and (2) increase the stability of the recently repaired area. Your physical therapy appointments will be 1-3 times per week, and progression of movement in the recovering joint will be the guide. You will start with gradual, controlled movements in a free (non-forced) way with little weight or resistance - normally with very few repetitions of activity. Strengthening exercises will slowly increase in difficulty (with more resistance) after your surgery. You will be stiff and in pain at first; simple, easy movements may seem challenging in the beginning - but don't get discouraged, your hard work will pay off in the end.
At about 6 to 12 weeks (depending on your type of surgery) you still need to allow for healing from the surgery. Although you may be feeling much better and your pain is reducing, repaired soft tissue at 4 weeks is typically only 20% healed. At 8 weeks it will be about 40% strong and after 12 weeks a tendon is approx. 60% as strong as a normal tendon. The point where the pain decreases yet the tendons and muscles are still weak is a VERY critical point. This is the stage where you need to be very careful about re-injury.
At Home Stretching/Exercise - Your therapist will encourage you and tell you just how important it is to commit to regular exercise at home as well as in the clinic. You should be doing home exercises up to 3 times per day. They will give you exercises and guidance based on your overall soreness level and your morning discomfort.
We typically recommend applying an electromagnetic "deep heat" treatment (via the T•Shellz Wrap®) before stretching (or exercise). Apply a TShellz Wrap treatment for approximately 15 to 20 minutes (finishing 15 minutes before exercise) to help increase elasticity and flexibility of your tendons, ligaments and muscles. The increased elasticity will help minimize tissue tears and scar tissue growth that may be incurred during stretching. Overall, we advise T•Shellz Wrap® treatments before exercise (or work) to help increase ROM and decrease re-injury risk.
Controlling post-exercise swelling and inflammation is crucial during any phase of rehabilitation. Any sign of swelling or inflammation after exercise may be an indication of minor re-injury to muscles or other surrounding soft tissue. Controlling your inflammation immediately after exercise, for at least 15 to 20 minutes, with an Cold Compress may reduce the risk of re-injury to your muscle. If you don't treat swelling immediately after finishing exercise, you will likely experience a setback in your recovery.
Your doctor, surgeon or physical therapist will advance you to the next Phase of rehabilitation when you show measured improvement of range of motion (ROM), strength, stability and flexibility in the affected joint. The level of improvement will depend on the severity of your injury and the type of surgery you have had. For example, if you have had a relatively simple arthroscopic repair of tissue, you may be expected to move your joint around to show your muscles/tendons are functioning well before moving to Phase 3 of your rehabilitation.
If you have questions, call our office at 1-866-237-9608 (toll free continental US).
Post-OP Phase 3:
Gain Back Full Capability
After temporary tissue has grown (Step 3 of the healing process), this temporary tissue will go through different stages of conversion into healthy, normal, flexible tissue. This is Step 4 of the healing process (Complete Tissue Re-Growth). Before converting into healthy tissue, temporary tissue will often become tough, dense, fibrous scar tissue. Scar tissue has an unorganized, inflexible tissue structure, which makes it brittle. Scar tissue will provide your injury with more long term fusing power, but will also stick to surrounding healthy tissue and even bone. The growth of this scar tissue is what stiffens the joint, restricting movement and flexibility.
This Phase of your rehabilitation will focus on an increase in activity level in order to regain full range of motion (ROM) and muscle strength in the area. Continued exercise and activity will break up and soften scar tissue.
Use of a T•Shellz Wrap® BEFORE exercise/stretching and use of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack after exercise and activity is highly recommended. Like we mentioned before, controlling your pain and inflammation will go a long way to reduce your risk of re-injury. If you are noticing any recurring inflammation, you can continue cold treatments as recommended by your doctor.
Your doctor or physical therapist will advance you to the next Phase of rehabilitation when you have regained full ROM (range of motion) without pain. You may also have to pass clinical exams or tests of your muscle strength, balance, stability and flexibility in order to be cleared for Phase 4.
Post-OP Phase 4:
Return to Regular Use & Activity
Depending on your injury, the type of surgery you've had, and the level of commitment to your post-operative rehabilitation program, you may be able to return to daily household activities 6-12 weeks after your surgery.
When your overall condition and range of motion has improved, your doctor or physical therapist may clear you for a return to work or athletic activity. In many cases, they may recommend that you continue muscle strengthening and stretching instructed during your rehabilitation in order to maintain healthy ROM of the affected joint. Additional cardiovascular exercise will also be encouraged. If you are an athlete or have a job that requires extensive physical capability, your doctor or physical therapist will likely advise a very gradual return to previous activity.
Scar tissue may plague you for weeks, months and maybe even years after your surgery depending on your level of activity and the amount of conservative therapy you have undergone during your rehabilitation. Scar tissue will be a major problem as scar tissue can easily build up quickly and its hard to get rid of.
Even if you have been cleared to get back to activity, you still must be careful with the activity you take on. You need to keep in mind that your joint won't be back to 100% for some time (recovery rarely reaches 100%) and so continued stretching with exercises and stretches, treatment with the T•Shellz Wrap® and cold therapy will maintain good health of the post surgery area and significantly reduce your risk of re-injury.
Your success to recovering from surgery is up to you:
- listen well to your physician and if conservative treatments are recommended, - stick to all of the treatments daily to ensure you maximize the opportunity to heal
- Frequent use of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack after your surgery will get the swelling down. Much of the pain you feel will be from the swelling, and you will be surprised how quick the pain drops off once the swelling is down.
- The TShellz Wrap is a safe, electromagnetic energy device that will induce heat deep down in soft tissue. This deep heat will help reduce scar tissue growth and increase blood flow to the area (and thereby accelerate the body's own healing process).
- When applied before stretching, the TShellz Wrap will help the connective tissue in your joint both increase in flexibility and elongate. This effect will last for a couple of hours after treatment. What it means is that it helps improve your range of motion while reducing the chance of reinjury when you are exercising/stretching/working - this is exactly what you want when trying to recover from soft tissue damage.
Dealing with Scar Tissue After Muscle Surgery
Scar tissue is something that will be present in your muscle before and after your surgery - it can be minimized through use of minimally invasive surgeries (arthroscopic) but never completely avoided. As with nearly any surgery, the surgeon will weigh the costs versus the benefits of performing surgery on this particular case. Your surgeon will determine if the anticipated outcome from surgery will be successful, despite the build-up of scar tissue that you will develop as a result of the surgery. Overall, the surgeon may be able to remove a lot of the initial buildup of scar tissue around the injury and in doing so, view a positive outcome from the surgery.
The growth of scar tissue is ultimately what causes stiffening in your muscle tissue, restricting movement and flexibility. Unfortunately, scar tissue may plague you for weeks, months and maybe even years after your surgery, depending on your level of activity and the amount of conservative treatments you have done during your rehabilitation. Scar tissue is a major problem, especially when it comes to re-injury of your muscle.
When dealing with scar tissue:
- listen well to your physician, and remember to stick to your conservative treatment plan. Using these therapies every single day will help minimize the amount of scar tissue that will grow in the wound.
- know that frequent use of a Cold Compress or Ice Pack after surgery will help reduce the swelling very quickly. Most of the pain you usually feel will be from the swelling, and you'll be surprised how fast pain drops once the swelling is down. Scar tissue growth is further inhibited by a reduction in inflammation (swollen tissue prevents blood flow - cells die without blood and scar tissue grows in its place)
- know that the TShellz Wrap provides deep heat via completely safe electromagnetic waves. This deep heat induces greater blood flow to the area (thereby accelerating the body's own healing process). Treating an area with this device after surgery is probably the easiest and most effective home treatment device to accelerate your recovery. Do not use until the surgical wound has healed and if there is a lot of swelling, use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack instead.
- when applied before stretching, deep heat provided via the T•Shellz Wrap® will help connective tissue in the area elongate, and stay elongated. This will help improve your range of motion and reduce reinjury risk. This claim is fact
- repeated motion through exercise can not only get rid of scar tissue, but also promote growth of healthy, flexible tissue. We have some stretching ebooks (click here to see in shop) that show examples of natural, fluid, passive stretches for specific muscles and injuries. Regular, consistent stretching will increase extensibility and flexibility of soft tissue and improve overall range of motion (ROM).
- use the TShellz Wrap before physical activity. Deep Tissue Therapy treatments via the T•Shellz Wrap® increase flexibility and elasticity of soft tissue, improve range of motion (ROM), reduce stiffness and tightness and reduce the chance of tissue strain during activity.
The introduction of "deep heat" through regular use of the TShellz Wrap will result in:
- your pain being reduced *
- damaged soft tissue in the treatment area will heal faster *
- the range of motion in the treatment area will increase *
* Chapter 9 of "Therapeutic Heat and Cold", 4th edition. (amazon.com link - Ed. Justus F. Lehmann, M.D., Williams, and Wilkin)
Expectations for Long-term Recovery
Rehabilitation after your surgery is just the beginning of your recovery process. Even after you've had surgery to fix your injury and deal with the build-up of scar tissue, it is improbable that your soft tissue will heal 100%. From this point forward, it is more important than ever to be careful with your recovered injury. It is almost a certainty that the area will be weaker now, and your risk of re-injury is just that much higher because of this.
Manage Your Symptoms On A Daily Basis To Prevent Re-Injury
It's simple to manage long-term healing of your muscle injury with conservative treatment methods that can be conveniently used in the comfort of your own home. If you are looking for an all-natural pain management and long-term healing solution that is ergonomically designed to provide exceptional long-lasting relief, speak to your doctor today about incorporating TShellz Wrap into your treatment plan.
A Cold Therapy can help you to decrease post-operative pain and swelling while also managing any pain from occasional inflammatory flare-ups (re-injury). Consistent treatment with a Cold Compress or Ice Pack will effectively reduce your inflammation, draw the pain out of the region and gently numb nerve endings in soft tissue for rapid, long-lasting pain relief.
During your last few stages of rehabilitation, while you are undergoing physical therapy and focusing on improvements to your range of motion, it is important to maintain healthy blood flow in your muscle. Strong and healthy tendons need a solid foundation of good recovery methods. While tissue is healing, blood flow can sometimes reduce to a trickle if on-going swelling and inflammation is experienced. It also takes time for veins carrying blood flow to your healing tissue to regrow after a traumatic event or surgery.
Reduced blood flow slows down your recovery process. If your soft tissue is always starved for more blood flow, it will be at a higher risk of re-injury which could severely set back your healing progress.
Use T•Shellz Wraps regularly to prevent re-injury and keep your muscles, tendons and ligaments elastic and flexible. Healthy blood flow is vital to the healing process after surgery. Your blood flow is what brings oxygen, nutrients, anti-bodies and energy (things needed to heal) into your damaged tissue. Blood flow promotes tissue re-growth, strengthening the delicate work your surgeon has done.
Regular treatments using the T•Shellz Wrap® will help you increase localized deep heat for up to 3 hours with just one 20 minute application! This deep heat induces a significant increase in blood flow to muscles, tendons and other soft tissue in the area. There simply isn't a better home product on the market to increase your body's natural healing process and provide long-term health benefits.
Scar Tissue - We Need It For Kick-Starting Tissue Tear Repair, But After That It's Nasty Stuff
Tendons, ligaments, muscle and other soft tissue are all meant to be soft and flexible, ready to work and move significant forces in everyday activities. When I say force, I mean try to imagine the amount of force that your body handles on a daily basis. As an example from the study below, a stumble during a walk can put peak forces of over 800% of your body weight on your hip..
If you can, take a look at the abstract from this study: "Hip joint loading during walking and running, measured in two patients" (PubMed,opens in new window). The forces measured were as a percentage of body weight from 2 subjects (one with a bilateral joint replacement and the other with one instrumented hip implant) and are as follows*:
At 1 km/hr walk speed, peak forces were at approx 280% of Body Weight (BW).
As walk speed increased, so did peak forces.
At 5 km/hr walk speed, peak forces were at approx 480% BW.
Jogging and very fast walking raised peak forces to approx 550% BW.
In one patient, a peak force of 870% BW was observed during stumbling.
*Bergmann G, E. A.
Bergmann G, et al. "Hip Joint Loading During Walking And Running, Measured In Two Patients. - PubMed - NCBI ." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N. p., 2018. Web. 18 May 2018.
Scar tissue grows in damaged tissue when it tries to heal; little tiny band-aids that overlap each other to bind tiny tissue tears together. With this added scar tissue, muscles & tendons & ligaments become rigid, less flexible and unable to handle the forces that it once could. If you're suffering with scar tissue now you may feel the effects with stiffness, tightness, weakness and tiredness in your joints and muscles.
Scar tissue can form fast to bring together the edges of a tear, but working fast doesn't mean that the job's done right. When scar tissue forms it doesn't come together as neatly as regular (healthy) tissue would. Scar tissue fibers will lay down over top of your tear in a cluttered, messy and jumbled up way.
On-going issues with scar tissue can result in soft tissue tears and increase chances of strain to nearby tendons or ligaments (as they are now handling higher forces due to overcompensation).
Scar tissue is one of the MAIN reasons why a chronic injury has not healed and your Range of Motion (ROM) is reduced from what it once was.
Scar tissue will form fast to deal with a soft tissue injury, and this scar tissue will attach to EVERYTHING in the area, including the surrounding healthy tissue as well. This can result in a fusing together of soft tissue that shouldn't be fused together, and this will cause extreme pain when you move - it is literally ripping scar tissue (or, to be more correct, your soft tissue is ripping away from the scar tissue). This is why physical therapy is often painful - the therapist stretches the joint, forcing scar tissue bonds to break so you can regain your range of motion.
Scar tissue is a major problem as it is difficult to treat and can cause your injury to become chronic - taking months or even YEARS to completely heal!
You can minimize scar tissue growth and reduce risk of re-injury to your muscles/tendons/ligaments by introducing electromagnetic energy to the area. Soft tissue absorbs this energy and at that point, musch of the energy is released as heat - deep down in your body where it is needed most. Your body responds to deep heat by increasing blood flow to the area. Studies have proven that deep heat also reduces pain and increases elasticity of soft tissue in the area. Treating yourself with the TShellz Wrap (an FDA approved medical device) is the easiest and most effective home treatment to accelerate your recovery, increase soft tissue elasticity and deal with stubborn scar tissue.
When applied before activity or work, the TShellz Wrap will also relax and lengthen your soft tissue to help improve your range of motion and prevent atrophy (tissue wasting & shortening) in the afflicted area.
Overall, continued treatment with a TShellz Wrap will maintain good health in your soft tissue and significantly reduce your risk of re-injury.
Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy for Fast Tracking Post Surgery Recovery
Improve Circulation, Soften Scar Tissue & Prevent Re-Injury with the T•Shellz Wrap®
If you want to heal quickly, you need to keep your blood moving and that's where
DTR Therapy, comes in.
What is DTR Therapy? It's a substantial increase in the flow of blood to soft tissue without the need to exercise your already damaged tissue.
Have you seen what happens when you add water to a flower wilted from drought? In essence, your injured muscles and tendons are much like a "wilted" flower; your body wants to heal its injury, but needs lots of nutrients to do it. Blood brings new life to your cells by delivering healing nutrients and oxygen that are vital to your tissue. In addition, the blood carries away toxins and cellular waste cleaning the area and healing it faster. Without a good supply of blood, your injury simply won't heal properly.
With DTR Therapy your soft tissue is constantly being fed with healing, nutritious, oxygen and energy filled blood. This is exactly what your body needs to heal.
In order to get maximum blood flow to your area, you need to help your body stimulate blood flow. DTR Therapy is the fast, easy and pain-free way to increase blood flow and invigorate your body's healing process. It's a key home medical device for dealing with recovery from soft tissue injuries properly.
- When treating any soft tissue injury, an effective therapy will increase blood flow to the injury while the joint is immobile.
- This increase in blood flow will accelerate the body's own ability to heal itself.
- The TShellz Wrap is a highly effective deep heat medical device registered with the FDA and available for use at home.
T•Shellz Wrap® = The Perfect Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy Delivery Tool
When to use a T•Shellz Wrap®:
- Once the swelling is gone (usually after applying cold compression to the injury over 24 to 72 hr period).
- BEFORE getting out of bed in the morning. BEFORE going to bed at night.
- BEFORE exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to increase elasticity of tendons, ligaments and muscles while decreasing the risk of re-injury.
- AFTER surgery (once the skin wound has healed over) to increase post-surgery healing rate and minimize scar tissue growth at the surgery location.
- Anytime BEFORE you feel you might undertake activity that will put significant strain on the injury area.
When to use a Cold Compress or Ice Pack:
- 24 to 72 hours after your initial injury or when you first notice pain and swelling to stop cellular damage, relieve pain, and decrease swelling.
- After exercise, workouts or activity of any kind to prevent re-injury.
- Before and after surgery during rehabilitation to control pre and post-surgery pain and swelling.
- Anytime you feel your muscles or joint been over-extended, over-worked, twisted, strained or sprained causing pain and swelling.
- Anytime you have swelling, sharp throbbing pain or inflammation.
- Any other situation where you need to draw the pain and inflammation out of the area.
Minimize Your Chance of Surgery with these Effective Conservative Treatment Options
If your doctor thinks you might be able to avoid surgery by using conservative treatments, you can join our many customers who have had great success treating themselves with the powerful treatment products we offer through AidMyMuscle.
Muscle strains, spasms, tears - impingements, bursitis, tendonitis and other soft tissue injuries are not uncommon - they can (and do) happen to anyone. Right now, there are thousands of doctors and physical therapists dealing with patients that require a solution to heal their injury as fast as possible. Maybe they are just patients that are unwilling to just take pain pills, lay in bed and wait or perhaps they are patients with extensive access to medical care with a great insurance plan. Even fortunate patients such as this have greatly benefitted from boosting their PT and medical treatments with home therapies using the products we have recommended after getting approval from their doctor or PT.
Regardless of who you are or your reasons, if you want to be proactive about properly addressing your soft tissue injury and minimizing the negative impact it will have on your lifestyle, consider accelerating your therapy at home with Deep Tissue Regeneration Therapy through the use of a T•Shellz Wrap®. We have many happy customers that have healed their injuries much faster than even they had hoped for and significantly reduced their pain during treatment and through the healing process.
The Next Step Is Up To You!
Click HERE to Go To Our Online Store If you have questions, call our office at 1-866-237-9608 (toll free continental US).
Living with pain is never easy as it affects your entire lifestyle. Living with pain during or after an intensive surgery and lengthy rehabilitation period can be even harder! What is more important than making the proper decision when it comes to treating your muscle pain after surgery.
Doctors and Surgeons are always improving the technologies used in surgery, and results from surgery now are much more positive than they were in the past. However, all surgeries introduce scar tissue, and recovery from surgery can sometimes be disappointing. If you do wind up getting surgery, know that rehabilitation at-home while attending regular physical therapy or doctor appointments is vital for your overall recovery. It is especially vital to the hip, knee, ankle and shoulder areas, as they consistently handle extreme forces (body weight, leverage). Consistent exercise and conservative treatment on a daily basis during your rehabilitation while working with your doctor, surgeon or physical therapist is key - and this is why you should seriously consider maximizing your recovery by using the T•Shellz Wrap® at home once you are approved for physical therapy.
AidMyMuscle.com stands out in this regard as our goal is to help you keep your body healthy for the long-term in a cost effective manner. This might mean healing your without needing surgery. If you couldn't avoid surgery, then our conservative treatment tools can also help you recover from surgery more quickly and completely by complementing your physical therapy with treatments you can do at home..
We strongly believe that we can help you, and we have thousands of happy clients to back this claim. You are welcome to try our products for a 60 day period.. If you are committed to following the treatments outlined in the product instructions we are very confident that our TShellz Wraps will aid you immensely. If you do not receive the benefits that countless of our other customers have experienced from our products, call us, mail the product back to us and we will provide you with a full product refund.
Our online shop accepts Visa & Mastercard as well as a Paypal Payment option.
We also encourage your to Call Our Office at 1-866-237-9608 (toll free continental NA) where we can answer any questions you have and/or take your order via phone.
Our customer service lines are open 5 days a week helping people understand their injuries and how to treat them. Simply call toll free 1-866-237-9608 to talk or place an order with one of our knowledgeable Product Advisers. They have the ability to answer questions and even put together a treatment plan for you.
Consistent use of home conservative treatments will help keep your muscles, tendons, bursae and joints healthy. Having healthy muscles and joints will minimize your risk of injury degradation that may eventually turn chronic. Some common chronic conditions are arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendinosis and bursitis (a common condition immediately following surgery due to irritation during the procedure). Following surgery, continued use of these therapies will result in a faster recovery and more complete healing.
Ask your physical therapist about the T•Shellz Wrap® and if it is a suitable treatment option for your recovery! As with all medical devices, make sure your physician is aware of any treatment plan you decide to take.
Learn more about how the T•Shellz Wrap® helps with the healing process.
Are You Dealing with Rehabilitation After Muscle Surgery?
We Have Answers that can Help...
Most cases of chronic muscle injury will respond well to conservative treatments, however, surgery will be needed in some cases (especially with a full muscle rupture). Undergoing muscle repair surgery, whether you have an open, percutaneous or mini-open procedure, can be a scary and challenging time for most.
The Internet and any medical professionals available to you (your surgeon, orthopaedic specialist and/or physical therapist) will provide a wealth of information and details on the surgery itself, but it can be a challange to fully understand the medical terminology used, how your body reacts to the surgery and what comprehensive rehabilitation plan will get your body healed as soon as possible.
Surgery in itself is not the end of the journey, it is merely the beginning of a new chapter. Your rehabilitation efforts will have an important impact on how soon you can return to living and enjoying your normal daily life.
It truly takes a cohesive rehab plan after surgery - incorporating conservative therapy, rest and physical therapy/exercise - to ensure a complete recovery takes hold. There is no single answer and each individual experience in rehabilitation is different.
We here at AidMyMuscle provide suggestions and options for people to help get them through this life changing event. We assist many people in shaping an individual course of action to help them heal after surgery.
If you have undergone muscle repair surgery and you would like to ask us questions on steps needed to ensure more complete healing, then call our office toll free: 1-866-237-9608
Learn More About Muscle Injuries & Treatments
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During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. Always consult your doctor and/or Physical Therapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they are right for you and your condition. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Living with pain is never easy and we encourage you to call us with any questions you have related to your hamstring injury. We will do our best to help.
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