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What to Expect for Pre-op Physical Therapy?

Publish Date
October 21, 2021

Pre-op, or what is also known as "prehab," can be seen in a couple of different ways, such as before a scheduled surgery to see if the help of physical therapy and exercise can reduce your risk of needing surgery. "Prehab" can be a few weeks or days before your scheduled surgery to provide exercises to do leading up to the big day. 


No matter what kind of prehab you have, going to these appointments is more important than you expect. You may be thinking, "if I need surgery either way, why am I going to go to physical therapy before?" Research shows that prehab decreases time spent in the hospital after surgery and decreases complications after surgery. Prehab also can help speed up your recovery. 


The big goals of pre-op physical therapy are: 

  1. Education:
  2. Improving ROM if you lack mobility and improving balance.
  3. Increasing your strength and activation of key muscle groups before surgery. 
 4. Reducing pain and inflammation.
  5. Normalizing a gait (if a lower-body injury).
  6. Take measurements before surgery to get a better idea of where you should be afterward and track your progress better.

If you have surgery coming up, ask your doctor about going to physical therapy before surgery to help improve your recovery time afterward.


By Dr. Billy Beaudreau, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, FAAOMPT

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