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Physiotherapy is proven to help speed recovery in the post-operative patient.


When it comes to joint and soft tissue surgery and recovery, this is a general 


        "Formula For Success" 

                  Good surgical technique


                     Adequate pain relief


                      Restricted exercise


                Appropriate rehabilitation


                       Good outcome 


  1. Immediate & early post-op phase (0-2 weeks)

  • Crate rest or confined to 1 small room where they cannot jump up on anything

  • No stairs

  • No running or jumping

  • Non-slip flooring

  • On the lead for toileting in the garden only and walking around the house

  • Non steriodal anti-inflammatory medication and pain relief

   2. Early to mid post-op phase (2-4 weeks)

  • Physio assessment and treatment as appropriate (after stitches out)

  • Begin early rehabilitation exercises as shown by your physio

  • Depending on type of surgery aqautic treadmill can begin 

  • Depending on surgery and vet advice short lead walks can begin (2-3 x 5 minutes CONTROLLED walks a day - on a short lead only)

3. Mid post-op phase (week 4-6)

4. Mid to late post-op phase (6-10)

5. Late post-op phase (10-12)

6. End stage post-op phase (12 weeks+)

For more detailed information please see relevant documents

available for download on the client information page


  • Some dogs recover faster than others


  • Physiotherapy is carried out according to rate of recovery and appropriate to stage of healing. It is individual to each patient.


  • Functional progress will be dependent on several factors including:

    • Extent of joint disease and pre-existing arthritis

    • Complications post-op etc.

    • Existence of concurrent conditions

    • Age of patient

    • Obesity


  • Use of the limb should improve steadily with time. Where a dog seems to be deteriorating for more than a day or two, please contact your physiotherapist or veterinary surgeon for advice.


  • All surgical techniques for cruciate ligament disease and elbow dysplasia are treatments to reduce the effects of the disease rather than to cure the disease itself. Although results are generally good, secondary arthritis is sadly inevitable and may result in some residual lameness - your veterinary physiotherapist can help you manage this. 

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