“Prehab” Before Joint Replacement Surgery

save recovery time and money after the surgery

To improve your odds of a successful outcome of joint replacement surgery, start a prehab exercise program six weeks or more prior to the surgery to get physically prepared and get back on your feet faster.  Everybody expects months of physical therapy and rehabilitation after joint surgery, but medical research is showing that a prehab (pre-habilitation) exercise program leads to faster recovery rates than rehab alone.   Think of preparing for surgery as if you were preparing for an athletic event, like your own personal “Spartan Race”.  

If you are already exercising regularly, great!   You are already on your way to speedier recovery.   Prehab for you may mean stepping up your game by adding targeted movements.   Adding some joint-specific exercises to your current workout plan will increase strength and mobility where you will need it most.

If you are not exercising regularly, now is the time to start!    Anything you do now in addition to your current activity level (especially if your current level is none) will improve your chances for successful recovery.   Consider consulting with a personal trainer or physical therapist for ideas or recommendations for starting a safe and effective prehab [program. 

After surgery, patients who participated in a prehab program reap the benefits in several ways[ :  

  • First, prehab patients tend to be up and moving faster and out of the hospital sooner!  
  • Prehab patients require less in-patient rehabilitation visits and fewer out-patient rehabilitation visits. 
  • The reduction in hospital time and rehab visits saves money in medical expenses
  • but more importantly, it saves time that otherwise would have been spent staying in the hospital or going back and forth to rehab visits. 

Before joint preplacement surgery, research a “prehab” routine to get ready, speed recovery time, and get back to doing the things you enjoy most.