Sunday, June 23, 2024

Rehab Is Like Snakes And Ladders

I am currently treating a few patients after they have had surgery. A patient with knee partial menisectomy and microfracture surgery, 2 with back surgery and 3 with ankle fractures that needed pins, rods and plates for stabilization.

All of them had some form of setback whilst recuperating. Kind of like playing snakes and ladders. Often we are very eager to roll a 6 on the dice and get a quick ride up the longest ladder on the board. We all want some shortcuts to win and in their cases get back to full training/ competition or living a 'normal' life as quickly as possible.

However, lurking near those big ladders are the big snakes that can send you all the way back down to the lowest level on the board.

That's the risk you take and 'punishment' associated with trying to go too fast with rehab and taking shortcuts. Short term gain often leads to frustration and long term failure.

Granted there are those who will, on occasion, roll lot's of 6's, goes quickly up the long ladders while avoiding the snakes and win. They are very rare though and that should not be our strategy when we start rehabilitation after surgery.

What's the best game plan? Rolling 3's and 4's steadily and steadily make our way up the board. If you get a big ladder great, if not a small one helps or even a small snake. These little wins and losses are not too beneficial nor too detrimental to the overall recovery plan. You will eventually get to the top of the board.

So, do not be seduced by the long ladders because there is always a bigger snake ready to take you all the way back down if you start to gamble on quick fixes over the steady approach.

Slow and steady is the way to do it. You will eventually get to the top of the board.

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