Physical Therapy treatment several weeks prior to orthopedic surgery is becoming a growing trend and has been shown to be beneficial for accelerated recovery. By going into surgery with improved strength and range of motion a patient may potentially have a shorter hospital stay or progress more quickly from a walker to a cane or to no assistive device at all. A preliminary study in 2009 concluded that there is evidence for positive results of a 6 week program of physical therapy prior to total knee replacements.
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery published an article in October 2014 which found a decreased utilization of post-acute care services for individuals who participated in preoperative therapy prior to hip and knee replacements. Overall, costs were reduced due to a lessened need for home health services and time spent in skilled nursing facilities.
Besides orthopedic surgeries like rotator cuff repairs, joint replacements, and spinal fusions, Prehab may be beneficial for individuals undergoing surgery for various forms of cancer. In addition to the physical results, a patients overall well-being and quality of life can also be improved.
If you or someone you know is interested or has questions about prehab feel free to call any of our Chesapeake Bay Aquatic and Physical Therapy clinics. Many health insurance policies do not require a physician’s referral prior to beginning outpatient physical therapy.