By WIN Contributor: Belinda Ham, Physiotherapy Assistant
Many of the patients that we see for physiotherapy are those who have had a total knee replacement or total hip replacement. These patients know the importance of exercise and staying committed to doing their exercises everyday after the operation. What some may not know is the importance of exercise before the procedure, benefitting their recovery. Strengthening the muscles that surround the knee or hip can result in an easier and shorter recovery.
Preoperative physiotherapy has many benefits. It will help you mentally prepare for the surgery and give you a good understanding of the exercises you will perform immediately after the operation.
It will also assist in reducing pain and inflammation, and strengthen the muscles around the joint.
Recovery will be easier and the outcome will be greater because of the work was done in advance to strengthen the muscles prior to the operation. This can result in a shorter recovery time.
A study was done in Boston where researchers investigated the results of a six-week preoperative exercise program for patients getting total knee or hip replacement. The results showed that 65% of the exercise group got to go directly home after their inpatient stay, compared to only 44% of the non-exercising group. Thus, it was concluded that exercise before operation showed significant muscle strength improvement and a 73% lower risk of needing inpatient rehabilitation care after surgery.
The human body goes through a lot in a total hip or knee replacement, so it is important to prepare the body for this surgery. It is like running a marathon with no preparation, making it a difficult and painful task. With motivation and preparation beforehand, your body will be well-equipped to endure this challenge, both mentally and physically.
Osterweil, N. (2006). Exercise Before Joint Replacement Improves Post-Op Function. Retrieved September 25, 2017, from https://www.medpagetoday.com/surgery/orthopedics/4209
Pre & Post Operative Rehab | Drayer Physical Therapy. (2016). Retrieved September 25, 2017, from https://drayerpt.com/pre-post-operative-care/