Pre-operative rehabilitation

It’s scientifically proven that undergoing pre-operative physical therapy can lead to better post-operative functional outcomes.

Rehabilitation before surgery, labelled as ‘pre-operative rehabilitation’ or ‘prehabilitation’, is mental and physical preparation for a period of immobility, reduced activity and recovery following surgery.

It consists of a combination (depending on the injury or illness) of the followings:

  • joint range of motion regaining
  • reduction of joint effusion
  • neuromuscular training
  • muscular strenghtening
  • balance & coordination
  • motor control
  • perturbation training
  • progressive exposure to all the allowed exercises pre-op that will be repeated post-op (patient familiarization)
  • overview of what the surgical procedure and the following rehabilitation period will look like, discussion on patient’s expectations and available scientific data in relation to the expected recovery time (in cooperation between the surgeon and the physical therapist).

We encourage patients in discussing this option with their surgeons, in case it has not been suggested. Clearly there might be specific reasons why a surgeon doesn’t prescribe pre-operative rehabilitation in some cases, but even when the surgical procedure is very close (like in 1 week) a single physical therapy session in which the patient gets to know the physical terapist he will work with post-operatively, the physical therapist has the chance of taking some baseline measurements that will be helpful in post-operative comparison and there’s the chance of discussing what the recovery pathway will look like, is useful.