Specific Rehab Exercises for Weeks 2 – 8 Post-op:
Two weeks after surgery please start some rehabilitation walks. These walks should be on a short leash, slow and controlled for 5-7 minutes. You may repeat this walk 2-3 times daily. Please walk Jackson in a slow controlled fashion as this will encourage gentle use of the affected limb. Additionally, please circle them in the direction of the affected limb (put the operated limb on the inside of the circle), which will encourage them to bear weight on that limb. Please do a large circle of 8-15ft. Please arrange the walks to be a length that is consistent with the patient’s recovery (ie, early recovery – short walk outside to go to the bathroom only).
Passive range of motion (PROM):
You wont be able to do this at the wrist joint, but it can be helpful to do at the elbow and shoulder.
Procedure: With one hand holding the limb above the target joint and the other slightly below the joint, gently move the joint in all physiological directions, i.e., through its normal range of motion (ROM). Always start with flexion since this is more pleasant for the patient than extension. Flex the joint to a comfortable end-point, then briefly hold the position. Under no circumstances should this maneuver induce pain and discomfort. Afterward, gently put the joint through extension. Repeat the flexion and extension procedure approximately ten times for each joint; do that approximately 3-5 times a day.
Sit to stand exercises:
Ask Jackson to sit. As soon as he sits, lure him forward with a treat to stand up, then ask for a sit again. Do this in sets of 5 to 10 repetitions. Think of these like a “squat” you and I would do. If he is avoiding putting weight on his splinted leg, try luring him to stand at an angle toward his splinted leg. This will encourage him to lean onto it as he rises.
Starting in a standing position, ask Jackson to lay down. It’s OK if he turns first. As soon as he lays down, ask him to stand up by luring him forward with a treat. Then ask for a lay down again. The goal is to have him lower down into a lay down and back up into a stand position without a sit pose in between. Do this in sets of 5 t0 10 repetitions.
Shake and high 5’s:
Ask Jackson to shake 5 times in a row using his splinted leg (remember, the splint is heavy, so this is like lifting weights for him). Try to work up to 10 shakes in a row. As he masters this exercise, you can work up to “high 5s”, which are just a shake with the lure/treat being held higher (at the level of Jackson’s nose when he’s sitting looking forward). You can also switch sides and make him shake with his left leg, forcing him to balance and bear weight with his splinted leg.
Incline on walks:
When you’re out for your very short leashed potty walks, incorporate SLOW incline work by repeating small hills/slopes in our neighborhood. Remember not to exceed the time limit of