Pre-hab meets Re-hab:
Understanding Pre and Post-Orthopedic Surgery Rehabilitation
By Dr. Frank J. Scerbo, PT, DPT, CSCS
One of the many important things I’ve learned during my years as a doctor of physical therapy is this: the road to recovery shouldn’t wait until after surgery! That’s why here at Scerbo Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation we’ve designed a pre-operative or “pre-habilitation” program to help our patients have a great outcome after surgery.
The goals of our pre-habilitation program include:
- Help you mentally prepare for surgery
- Minimize pain and inflammation
- Maximize range of motion (ROM) and strength of the surrounding body parts
- Improve overall endurance and fitness levels
- Help you understand the post-operative exercises performed immediately after surgery
- Help you prepare to use an assistive device or brace as needed
- Improve post-operative recovery results
According to a study cited by the American Physical Therapy Association, “physical therapy prior to surgery can help reduce the need for short-term care after surgery, such as a short stay at a skilled nursing facility, or a home health physical therapy program.” In addition to the benefits of decreased need for inpatient rehab after surgery and shorter recovery time, pre-operative orthopedic PT also serves another very important function: It allows your physical therapist to establish a baseline for your range of motion and movement patterns, so that she/he can bring you back to it, or beyond, through post-operative physical therapy.
As you probably know, post-operative physical therapy helps individuals recover from orthopedic surgeries. Surgeons prescribe physical therapy either to return the patient back to their pre-injury level of function, or to improve a patient’s ability to function after a disability has been corrected through surgery.
Common Surgeries that require Physical Therapy:
- Total Joint Replacements (Hip, Knee and Shoulder)
- Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery (Rotator Cuff, Labral Tears, Tommy John, Carpal Tunnel)
- Hip and Knee Orthopedic Surgery (ACL Tear, Meniscus Tear, Patellofemoral, Hip Impingements)
- Ankle and Foot Surgery (Ligament Tears, Achilles Tendon, Fractures, Alignment Issues)
- Neck and Back Surgery (Herniated Discs, Scoliosis, Stenosis, Fractures)
After your surgery, I can’t overstate the importance of post-operative orthopedic physical therapy in order to regain your full range of motion and strength. Without post-surgery therapy, it will be more difficult, or impossible, to return to your usual daily activities, and you will be more prone to re-injury.
Pre-hab Helps with Re-hab
If you are going to receive any type of orthopedic surgery, we strongly recommend that you don’t wait until after surgery to make an appointment with Scerbo PT. Get a jumpstart on recovery BEFORE your operation, so that your therapist can determine appropriate treatment to help you recover as quickly and fully as possible.
Don’t forget, Scerbo Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation is a full service orthopedic and sports rehabilitation clinic. I hold a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Columbia University and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and one of my special interests is pre- and post-surgery rehab. If an orthopedic surgery is in your future, contact us so we can help get you back to the things you want to do this summer – and all year long!
We are here to help. Call us at 201-941-2240 or visit our office in Edgewater, NJ and make an appointment today.