Post-operative rehabilitation

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


This is my post-op "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, it is not always possible to restore normal function in the joint, so some residual lameness (however mild) ought to be anticipated.

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