Understanding the Importance of Prehabilitation Before Surgery

Are you booked in for an upcoming elective surgery?

If so, it is worth considering prehabilitation in the lead up.

Prehabilitation is defined as a process of improving the functional capability of a patient prior to a surgical procedure.

The aim is to help you better withstand any postoperative inactivity and associated decline.

Essentially, it is about physically getting you in a better place before an operation so that you can make a more speedy recovery post-operation.

The practice is recommended by surgeons around the world and has become an important part in the path to surgery.

Benefits of prehabilitation before surgery

To understand the importance of prehabilitation before surgery, you do not have to look much further than the list of benefits.

Research shows that prehabilitation before surgery can result in:

  • A faster recovery for patients
  • Less postoperative pain
  • A better patient experience
  • Improved patient outcomes
  • Savings for the healthcare system

While a scan might not necessarily show the source of your pain, a physiotherapist can utilise these scans with their expert clinical examination to help identify the source and cause of your pain.

Types of prehabilitation before surgery

The most common and important aspect of prehabilitation while waiting for elective surgery is generally exercise therapy, which can be completed with the help of a qualified physiotherapist.

However, a multimodal approach to prehabilitation can often include the following four areas:

  • Exercise program – an individualised program based on personal goals and the type of surgery you are having, which can build strength in areas of the body that will be impacted as a result of surgery as well as help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Education – which empowers a patient to become an active participant in their health and make informed decisions throughout their surgery journey.
  • Nutritional support – to optimise your nutritional status and ensure you are not suffering from or at risk of malnutrition ahead of your surgery.
  • Psychological support – to help manage any preoperative anxiety, depression and self-efficacy, which can also lead to improved postoperative results.

Why physiotherapy should be included in prehabilitation before surgery

Injured body parts which require surgery will often experience a significant loss of strength, motion or function.

The longer that you spend waiting for surgery, the more deconditioned the joint or area of the body is going to become.

This is understandable, but will only make the situation worse and the recovery period post-surgery longer.

A qualified physiotherapist can draw up an individual exercise program based on your current physical health and address any pain or stiffness related issues based on the type of surgery that you are booked in for, and your own goals.

This will help improve your issues before surgery and help fast-track your recovery post-surgery.

For those undergoing joint replacements like hips and knees due to osteoarthritis, physiotherapy before and after surgery can be particularly beneficial to help minimise pain and stiffness and improve overall quality of life.

Prehabilitation in Adelaide

If you are interested in taking part in some prehabilitation before an elective surgery, give us a call at Perfect Motion Physiotherapy.

We have three state-of-the-art centres in Adelaide, with leading physiotherapists who provide quality and compassionate care.

To book an initial consultation, contact us today on 08 8337 7821

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