Physical Therapy Before and After Surgery
Beneficial for Patients
Preoperative physical therapy (before surgery) and postoperative physical therapy (after surgery) is very beneficial for patients.
One scientific study found that physical therapy before total hip and total knee replacements reduced the amount of postoperative care by as much as 29%. Physical therapy before surgery can also improve recovery time and reduce the length of hospital stays.
If you are considering surgery, consider a preoperative physical therapy assessment to help you get better outcomes. A preoperative appointment, just like an appointment after surgery, requires an evaluation by the physical therapist and is generally only one or two visits. During an evaluation, the physical therapist will assess your current range of motion and areas of muscle strength/ weakness and will provide exercises to improve coordination and flexibility prior to surgical intervention. Physical therapists can fitting and instruction for patients on how to use crutches, walkers, etc. at home and in the community.
After surgery, a physical therapist can assess your current status and design a program for you that can get you back to activity in the safest and most efficient way. The physical therapist will communicate with your other healthcare providers to assure that you have the best knowledge about your condition and what to expect. Then the therapist will use manual (hands on) techniques, heat or cold modalities (as indicated) and exercise to speed your recovery.