Pre-Surgical Rehab Kitchener, Waterloo & Elmira, ON

Pre-Surgical Rehab

Research studies have found that pre surgical rehabilitation has many benefits for patients. Mostly, it is believed that the benefits are derived due to the fact that it prepares patients for postoperative rehab. Researchers in the US reviewed 4,733 Medicare cases involving total hip or knee replacement from a combination of 169 rural and urban hospitals in Ohio with wide geographic distribution and found that 79.7% percent of patients who did not receive preoperative physiotherapy required postacute care services. That rate dropped to 54.2% for patients who received even a small number of physiotherapy sessions before surgery. The study was published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Another study supports the merits of presurgical physiotherapy. Between 2007 and 2011, 2,690 patients were monitored after surgery. Those who has physiotherapy prior to surgery had much better outcomes than those who did not. The ones who has physiotherapy scored significantly better at certain measure points a year after surgery and were still going strong two years after undergoing surgery.

Those patients who participate in pre-hab programs often have shorter hospital stays, regain function and return to their regular lives faster than those who do not participate in pre surgical rehabilitation. As a result, many doctors are now “prescribing” pre-hab before surgery for their patients.

The Basics of Rehab Before Surgery

Often before surgery, the region to be operated on is weak and inflamed. physiotherapy can help improve blood circulation to the area for increased mobility and pain relief. It also helps minimize compensatory movements. Being in the best of health goes a long way to postoperative recovery. Simple guidelines of rehab before surgery include:

  • Beginning the pre-hab program at least six weeks before surgery
  • A slow progression to avoid aggravating the existing problem
  • Exercise breaks for comfort
  • Meeting prerequisites, such as being able to climb stairs

Pre-surgical rehab is comprehensive. Movement restrictions may be given, and supportive garments may be discussed. You may also be instructed on how to use an assistive device and instructed in a home exercise program. Rehab before surgery benefits those having neck and back surgery, arthroscopic knee surgery, joint replacements and rotator cuff repairs. Just about any type of surgery has benefits with pre surgical rehab.

Pre-surgical rehab is an individualized physical conditioning program and a collaborative effort involving your surgeon and physiotherapist. Typically, programs begin with isometric exercises like stretching and low-impact muscle toning. The exercises are designed to strengthen ligaments, tendons and muscles. If there is some discomfort, your physiotherapist can help reduce the pain with cold packs, ultrasound or electrical stimulation. Plus, in a rehab setting, you can talk with other patients who have already had the surgery and see their progress. You can also get some of the mental, physical and emotional confidence required to succeed in post-surgical programs from engaging with others. Most patients benefit greatly from pre-surgical programs.

Having surgery and wondering whether or not you’re a good candidate for rehab before surgery? Contact Us at Kitchener, Waterloo & Elmira, ON Centers, and we’ll schedule a one-on-one consultation with a comprehensive evaluation. If you’re a good candidate for it, we’ll work with your doctor and physician to come up with the best course of prehab therapy for your specific needs. The road to recovery doesn’t have to wait until after surgery.




    Belmont Centre for Physical Medicine
    564 Belmont Avenue West, Suite 301
    Kitchener, Ontario N2M 5N6

    Phone : (519) 743-4355 Fax : (519) 743-6787


    Behind Wellness Centre ( Clock Tower )
    3 Wyatt Street East, Suite 2
    Elmira, Ontario N3B 2H4

    Phone : (519) 669-1212 Fax : (519) 669-0800


    University of Waterloo Student Life Centre
    200 University Avenue West
    Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1

    Phone : (519) 884-0767 Fax : (519) 884-9161