The Importance of Prehabilitation for Orthopaedic Surgery Patients

Prehabilitation for Orthopaedic Surgery Patients

What is Prehabilitation?

Prehabilitation is a proactive approach to preparing patients for orthopaedic surgery by focusing on optimizing their physical and mental health before the procedure. Unlike rehabilitation, which occurs after surgery, prehabilitation aims to enhance patients’ strength, flexibility, and overall well-being prior to going under the knife.

Prehabilitation for Orthopaedic Surgery Patients
Prehabilitation for Orthopaedic Surgery Patients

Why Is It Important to Be Prehabilitated?

The most common cause of disability worldwide is musculoskeletal disease, and each year, surgeons are thought to undertake 310 million treatments. Due to an aging population and the worldwide pandemic, millions of Americans had surgical procedure delays. Routine operations are taking longer to complete, which can be physically and psychologically taxing for patients.

While waiting for surgery might be exhausting, it also presents a chance for prehabilitation—improving quality of life, muscle strength, and function—prior to the procedure. The results orthopedic patients experience following surgery are greatly influenced by these three elements. Prehabilitation has been used by doctors and therapists since the 1940s, but research on its potential to enhance postoperative outcomes has only recently been conducted.

Benefits of Rehabilitation Before Surgery

Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), Addenbrooke’s — Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), and Western University in Ontario, Canada, performed a meta-analysis of 48 clinical trials involving patients getting ready for orthopedic surgery and using prehabilitation techniques like exercise, acupuncture, and pain management.

According to the study, patients awaiting total hip and total knee replacements, as well as lower back surgery, can benefit from prehabilitation by experiencing less discomfort prior to surgery, increased muscle strength, and an overall improved quality of life.

Benefits of Rehabilitation After Surgery

Recuperation from surgery was aided by prehabilitation. In comparison to patients who did not prehabilitate, the study indicated that patients who prehabilitated had better joint function over the short and medium terms. Prehabilitation shown to be very beneficial for knee replacement patients at six-week postoperative visits and for lower back surgery patients at six-month postoperative visits.

For patients waiting for orthopedic surgery, researchers recommended at least two sessions per week for a duration of four to six weeks. Patients can rest easy knowing that there aren’t many risks associated with rehabilitation programs, which may involve both supervised and unsupervised sessions.

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Leica Claydon-Mueller, PhD, associate professor of health services research at ARU (Medical Xpress), stated, “While the study’s results are encouraging and support prehabilitation, it is also important that patients engage in postoperative exercise programs appropriately to achieve optimal outcomes.”

Do You Need Prehabilitation before Your Surgery?

If you are thinking about having a total joint replacement, discuss prehabilitation programs with your orthopedist. While you wait for the day of your operation, you definitely want to preserve your range of motion and joint strength. You can manage your discomfort and speed up your recovery after surgery by being ready and conditioned, allowing you to get back to your active lifestyle!

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