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Physical Therapy Session

“Helping You Get Back to Life”

Following a surgical procedure, our commitment is to return a client to their prior physical function. Our highly trained therapists are able to quickly return clients to their daily sports and activities while protecting the integrity of their surgical repair. Mizuta & Associates offers a variety of evidence based, individualized rehabilitation programs for all orthopedic post-surgical procedures. Read below for more information regarding some common post-operative conditions that are treated by Mizuta & Associates.


A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed to remove a bunion. A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe, involving both extra bone and soft tissue, which usually occurs as a result of years of walking around with collapsed arches and/or poorly fitting shoes. The progression of the bunion can be slowed with proper fitting shoes and custom orthotics, but if conservative treatment along with anti-inflammatories is unsuccessful in treating the pain associated with the bunion, then a bunionectomy is performed. There are different ways to remove a bunion, and the type of surgical procedure performed depends upon the severity of the bunion, the age and general health of the individual, and the condition of the bones and soft tissue. Post op recovery may vary slightly depending on which procedure is performed, but most bunionectomies will require a period of walking with a post op boot and going through a course of physical therapy to restore toe range of motion, lower extremity strength, and balance.

Carpal Tunnel Post-op

Carpal tunnel is categorized by numbness in the hand which is typically worse with use of the hand with activities such as typing or prolonged positions such as sleep. Carpal tunnel may be diagnosed grossly in the office with Phalen’s test. Depending on a person’s symptoms, a doctor may require more imaging or tests such as a nerve conduction velocity test, electromyography or an MRI. Typical symptoms consist of pain, numbness, tingling, tenderness and decreased strength in the hands and wrists. Sometimes individuals will complain of referred pain, or pain that travels to another portion of the body such as the elbow or forearm.

According to National Institute of Health, carpal tunnel release is one of the more common surgical procedures in the U.S. and is performed if signs and symptoms persist more than 6 months. Although symptoms may be relieved immediately after surgery, full recovery from carpal tunnel surgery can take months. Some patients may have infection, nerve damage, stiffness, and pain at the scar. Occasionally the wrist had a loss of strength because the carpal ligament is cut. Patients should undergo physical therapy after surgery to restore wrist strength. Some patients may need to adjust job duties or even change jobs after recovery from surgery.

Partial and Total Joint Replacement and Resurfacing (Shoulder, Knee, and Hip)

A joint replacement (joint arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure in which one or more parts of the joint are replaced with prosthetic parts. It is usually indicated when the joint is severely arthritic and no other treatment has been effective. Shoulders, knees, and hips can all be replaced but hips can also be resurfaced, which is slightly less invasive.

All joint replacements will require a recovery period and then some work to regain normal joint range of motion (ROM), muscle strength, and function. Physical therapy can help restore premorbid function by utilizing manual therapy techniques, proper exercise instruction, and functional retraining. A partial or total knee replacement will most likely require a great deal of passive ROM as well as strength and balance training, whereas a partial or total hip replacement will require less passive ROM and more strength and balance training. A total shoulder replacement, on the other hand, involves a slightly different course of treatment because it is the only procedure that will require a period of immobilization and will not require balance or gait training.

Rotator Cuff Repair

A rotator cuff repair is a type of surgery to repair a torn tendon in the shoulder. The procedure can be done with a large (“open”) incision or with shoulder arthroscopy, which uses small button-hole sized incisions. Both types of procedures require a period of immobilization, so a sling will be worn for most likely 4-6 weeks depending on the severity of the rotator cuff tear. As a result of being immobilized for that period of time, the shoulder becomes stiff and weak compared to what it was before the surgery. This is why physical therapy is imperative to help restore the shoulder to its premorbid state following rotator cuff repair. Some doctors even recommend starting PT before the sling has been discharged to help prevent stiffness, because physical therapists can still passively move the shoulder outside the sling even though the patient is not allowed to actively move it themselves. When the rotator cuff tear has fully healed, which usually occurs at about ten weeks post op, the physical therapist will start the patient on a progressive strengthening program to maximize function. It is imperative to go through a course of physical therapy following rotator cuff repair in order to return to normal daily activities as well as sporting activities.

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