The Benefits of Physical Therapy for Distal Clavicle Excision

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How to Maximize Recovery After Distal Clavicle Excision with Physical Therapy


Post-surgical physical therapy (PT) is a vital component of the recovery process after any type of surgery, including distal clavicle excision. It helps to reduce pain and swelling, restore range of motion, strengthen weak muscles, and improve overall functioning. The goals of post-surgical physical therapy are to help the patient return to their pre-surgery condition and resume normal activities. This article will explore the importance of post-surgical physical therapy, the goals, phases, and techniques used, the role of a physical therapist in recovery, the patient’s role in PT, and potential challenges and solutions for PT after distal clavicle excision.

The Importance of Post-Surgical Physical Therapy

Post-surgical physical therapy is essential for maximizing the outcome of a surgery. It helps to reduce pain and swelling, restore range of motion, strengthen weak muscles, and improve overall functioning. Additionally, it can help to prevent scar tissue from forming around the surgical site which can hinder post-surgery healing. Furthermore, PT can help alleviate any discomfort associated with certain movements, as well as help reduce the risk of further injury.

Goals of Post-Surgical Physical Therapy

The primary goal of post-surgical physical therapy is to restore the patient’s pre-surgery functioning. This includes restoring range of motion, strength, balance, and coordination, as well as improving overall functional ability. Additionally, PT helps to reduce pain and swelling around the surgical site, as well as prevent scar tissue from forming.

Phases of Post-Surgical Physical Therapy

Post-surgical physical therapy typically consists of three phases: 1) passive care; 2) active care; and 3) maintenance. During the passive care phase, a physical therapist will focus on reducing pain and swelling, restoring range of motion, and preventing scar tissue from forming. During the active care phase, a physical therapist will focus on strengthening weak muscles, improving balance and coordination, and gradually increasing functional ability. The maintenance phase is focused on maintaining the gains made during the active care phase and helping to prevent further injury or discomfort.

Techniques Used in Post-Surgical Physical Therapy

Post-surgical physical therapy employs a variety of techniques to help restore pre-surgery functioning. These include manual therapy, stretching, and strengthening exercises. Depending on the type of surgery performed, additional techniques such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and low-level laser therapy may also be used.

Role of a Physical Therapist in Post-Surgical Recovery

A physical therapist plays an important role in helping a patient recover from surgery. The therapist will work with the patient to design and implement an individualized treatment plan that takes into account the patient’s goals, existing medical conditions, and type of surgery performed. The physical therapist will also be able to provide guidance on proper posture, body mechanics, mobility assistance devices, and therapeutic exercises.

Patient’s Role in Post-Surgical Physical Therapy

The patient is an important member of the treatment team and has an active role to play in post-surgical recovery. The patient should follow the physical therapist’s instructions closely, including any prescribed exercises or activities. For distal clavicle excision, for example, patients may be asked to do stretching and strengthening exercises throughout the day to help improve their range of motion and minimize discomfort.

Potential Challenges and Solutions in Post-Surgical Physical Therapy

Post-surgical physical therapy can present a few potential challenges, but with the right approach, these can be overcome. For example, pain and discomfort caused by scar tissue or lack of movement may make it difficult for the patient to complete prescribed exercises. A physical therapist can help by providing strategies and modifications to make exercises easier to perform. Additionally, having family and friends provide emotional support and encouragement during recovery can also be beneficial for patients.


Post-surgical physical therapy is an important component of successful recovery from surgery. Through collaboration between the patient, the physical therapist, and other members of the treatment team, a personalized physical therapy plan can be created to help maximize recovery and reduce risks or complications. With dedication and determination from all parties involved, post-surgical physical therapy can help patients return to their normal activities safely and effectively.

By taking the right steps and working together, patients can ensure a successful recovery. This is especially true for distal clavicle excision, where physical therapy can play an important role in helping to reduce pain and improve range of motion. Ultimately, post-surgical physical therapy should be tailored to each individual patient’s needs and goals in order to maximize their recovery.

With the right approach and support, post-surgical physical therapy can be a valuable component of successful recovery from surgery. By setting realistic goals, developing effective strategies to overcome potential challenges, and staying dedicated throughout the process, patients can ensure they get back on their feet as quickly and safely as possible.