Physical therapy is commonly thought of as something done after a joint replacement surgery in order to help patients heal faster and recover thoroughly. But do you know about pre-surgical physical therapy, or prehab? If you or someone you care for needs joint replacement or any other surgery, consider how prehab therapy can help them make the most out of their operation.
What is Prehab?
Prehab is a multi-faceted physical therapy program that generally occurs anywhere from two to six weeks before a patient’s scheduled surgery. A prehab program is designed to help physically and mentally prepare the patient for the procedure.
Unlike the typical surgical preparation where patients receive information about what to do and expect, prehab routines are more robust. They can include counseling, exercise routines, nutrition/diet, relaxation techniques, lifestyle adjustments, recovery timelines, and expectations. Since patients are often subject to limited mobility and strict rest orders, prehab can even advise them and their caretakers on making the necessary preparations for dealing with daily responsibilities during recovery.
Prehab Now for Better Rehab Later
Think of prehab as like a training program for joint replacement surgery. Just like with a sport or big project, the better prepared you are, the more successful you will be. Patients who participate in prehab are generally better equipped to physically handle the operation. Because of this, their recovery process in post-surgical physical therapy is also more likely to have better outcomes.
Studies have shown that patients who have undergone some sort of structured prehab therapy often spend less time in hospital and are more likely to have the choice of at-home recovery. As a result, this reduced the cost necessary for hospital care and resources. In short, prehab can save time and money in the long run.
Make Your Surgery A Success
When it comes to joint replacement surgery, the more prepared you are the better. Take charge of your recovery by starting with a prehab therapy plan. Consult with your surgeon and physical therapist to discuss the best course of action for you!