Pre-Surgical Rehabilitation

Importance of Pre-Surgical Rehab

Completing a rehabilitation process prior to surgical intervention, aka “prehab”, is important to ensure the best outcomes from operation. Prehab works to increase the patients’ physical and psychological readiness for surgery [1]. The prehab process generally begins 2-6 weeks before the scheduled operation [1,2]. Adhering to the full length of your prehab program may reduce the time needed for post-surgical rehabilitation [2]. Common goals for injuries we treat with pre-surgical rehab include: reducing swelling and pain, maintaining or improving range of motion, and strengthening targeted muscle groups.

Common areas and injuries

  • Knees
  • Total knee replacement
  • ACL reconstruction
  • Hips
  • Total hip replacement
  • Shoulders
  • Total shoulder replacement
  • Rotator cuff repair

What to Expect

With pre-surgical rehabilitation, it’s important to schedule as soon as you know your surgery date to maximize your time in rehab leading up to the operation. Your physical therapist will perform assessments before creating a unique prehab program for you. Your therapist may use a combination of strengthening exercises and modalities like: manual therapies, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, ice and/or heat during your visit. Depending on the region being treated, bringing an additional set of clothing or wearing shorts and t-shirt may be necessary for your provider to access the area for treatment.