pre-surgical rehab

Pre-Surgical Rehab

Studies have found that pre-surgical physical therapy has many benefits for patients, the most important of which is the effective preparation of the body for surgery. Those patients who participate in pre-hab programs often have shorter hospital stays and regain function and return to their regular lives more quickly than those who do not participate in pre-surgical rehabilitation. As a result, many doctors are now prescribing pre-operative physical therapy before surgery for their patients.

Before surgery, the region to be operated on is typically weak and inflamed. Physical therapy can help improve blood circulation to the area for increased mobility and pain relief. It also helps minimize compensatory movements. Being in the best of health goes a long way to postoperative recovery.

Simple guidelines for rehab before surgery include:

  • Beginning the pre-hab program around six weeks before surgery
  • A slow progression to avoid aggravating the existing problem
  • Exercise breaks for comfort
  • Meeting prerequisites, such as being able to climb stairs

Pre-surgical rehab involves an individualized physical conditioning program and a collaborative effort between your surgeon and physical therapist. Movement restrictions may be given and supportive garments may be discussed. You may also be advised on how to use an assistive device and instructed in a home exercise program.

Typically, programs begin with isometric exercises such as stretching and low-impact muscle toning. The exercises are designed to strengthen ligaments, tendons, and muscles. If there is some discomfort, your physical therapist can help reduce the pain with cold packs, ultrasound or electrical stimulation. Most patients benefit greatly from pre-surgical programs.

If you are having surgery and wondering whether or not you’re a good candidate for rehab before surgery, give us a call, and we’ll schedule a one-on-one consultation with a comprehensive evaluation. If you’re a good candidate for it, we’ll work with your doctor to come up with the best course of pre-operative therapy for your specific needs.