Everyone understands that after a surgery they go to physical therapy for rehabilitation, but what many people don’t know is that attending physical therapy prior to a surgery is just as important! This “prehabilitation” or “prehab” can help patients return to their prior level of function/activity faster. Research and anecdotal data have shown that prehab can improve recovery time as well as improving quality of life post-procedure. Prehab has also shown to be associated with a decrease in the use of post-acute care services (like skilled nursing facility stays and home health care), which saves about $1000 in post-procedural care.

A physical therapist put it very clearly… “People wouldn’t run a marathon without training for it,” so why not prepare/train for a surgery like total joint replacements, ligamentous repairs, and the like? Physical therapists are the most well-equipped to help “train” a patient for surgery by optimizing range of motion, strength, and function so that they are already a step ahead in the post-surgical rehabilitation process. Physical therapists can also help in educating the patient on what to expect post-surgery, how to maximize the healing process and start on range of motion and strengthening before even seeing the physical therapist to start post-operative rehabilitation.
Surgery is a big deal for patients and they should consider all the options they have to prepare themselves for it. Ask your doctor or physical therapist about prehabilitation if you’re considering surgery!

You Might Also Enjoy...

Scapular Winging

Scapular winging is a condition wherein the shoulder blade moves excessively away from its normal position on the thoracic region of the back. This can cause pain and weakness as well as loss of function and can be a problem cosmetically.