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Physical therapy and prehab for joint replacement

What is prehab for joint replacement surgery?

While physical therapy following a joint replacement surgery is standard care for all patients, it’s only recently that hospitals and doctors have begun to recommend preoperative physical therapy as well. Known as “prehabilitation,” this physical therapy has been shown to diminish the need for postoperative care by almost 30 percent, saving an average of over $1200 per patient.

According to a 2014 study of 4,733 total hip replacement and total knee replacement surgeries, only 54.2 percent of patients who received preoperative care required postoperative care services, compared to 79.7 percent of the patients who did not receive preoperative care. The study showed that prehab can be both more cost-effective and more beneficial to patient health.

It’s recommended that patients begin a prehab program at least six weeks prior to their surgery, and many medical professionals believe that short, daily sessions are more effective for prehab than longer weekly sessions. Patients who wish to participate in prehab may meet with a physical therapist weekly or bi-weekly to check progress and learn new exercises, however they may also be counseled to perform exercises on their own each day between sessions.

Source: Science Daily

Who can benefit from prehab for joint replacement surgery?

Many patients often consider knee and hip replacements when they’re suffering from osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis worldwide. However, fear of a grueling recovery process often holds patients back from undergoing life-changing joint replacement surgery.

For these patients, prehab is an excellent option. Some patients have been living with arthritic pain for so long that they are severely deconditioned; a physical therapy exercise plan can increase their strength and fitness level prior to surgery, helping them to prepare for a safe surgery and a quick recovery.

The conditions that most commonly require joint replacement include:

  • Osteoarthritis in the knees
  • Osteoarthritis in the hips

Physical therapy before a joint replacement

Because patients undergoing joint replacement surgery will have different needs, different timelines, and varying levels of fitness, prehab routines must be personalized by a licensed physical therapist. Generally, any prehab routine will include a mix of low-impact cardiovascular exercises and strength exercises, which are intended to strengthen the muscles around the affected joint.

Source: My Southern Health

Luna’s physical therapists treat prehab for joint replacement

Luna has physical therapists across the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Orange County who specialize in prehab before joint replacement. Our PTs understand that joint replacement can be a difficult and nerve-wracking experience, and they’ll work with you to ensure that you’re both mentally and physically prepared for your operation.

Luna provides first-class physical therapy to patients in the comfort of their homes. Our physical therapists come to you — it’s physical therapy, delivered.

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