While physical rehabilitation post-surgery seems to be standard operating procedure, did you know pre-operative rehabilitation is just as important? In fact, implementing a rehabilitative program prior to surgery can actually cut down on recovery time, complications, and even healthcare costs!
Following surgical procedures, patients often experience a decline in strength and function, as well as increased inflammation, pain, and swelling. Keeping this in mind, over a clinically suggested 6-week time frame prior to surgery, a physical therapist will assess the patient for muscle and joint strength, ability to move and perform day-to-day tasks, and degree of independence; all of which are crucial in creating the patient’s individualized pre-surgical rehabilitation plan. From there, the goals of this plan are simple:
- Mentally prepare patient for surgery
- Reduce pain and inflammation
- Restore range of motion
- Improve muscular control of the affected area
- Normalize movement patterns prior to your surgery
- Improve overall well-being and fitness
- Gain a good understanding of the exercises that you will perform immediately after surgery
By addressing key muscles, joints, and tissue anticipated to be affected by the procedure ahead of time, physical therapists are able to enhance post-operative outcomes. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), participating in just 1-2 pre-operative rehabilitative sessions can reduce postoperative care by 29%, which translates into healthcare savings of more than $1000 per individual.
*study based on patients with total knee or hip replacement