You wouldn't run a marathon without training beforehand, would you? The same logic applies to surgery. Surgery can be a big stress on your body. The controlled trauma of surgery addresses structural deficiencies in your body. As a patient, you can prepare yourself for the stress of the procedure itself as well as your recovery through a process called Prehabilitation.

Prehabilitation is the physical and/or lifestyle preparation designed to improve and reduce recovery time following surgery. According to the National Institutes of Health,

“By improving an individual’s functional capacity through increased physical activity before an anticipated orthopaedic procedure, it seems reasonable to assume that the individual will maintain a higher level of functional ability and rebound more rapidly in the rehabilitation process. Prehabilitation is the process of enhancing functional capacity of the individual to enable him or her to withstand the stressor of inactivity associated with an orthopaedic procedure. A generic prehabilitation program incorporates the components of warm-up, a cardiovascular component, resistance training, flexibility training, and practicing functional tasks.”

Doing pre-surgery exercises for knee surgery, for example, can speed recovery time and reduce the need for inpatient rehabilitation after surgery by up to 73 percent, according to Arthritis Today. Prehabilitation program can also reduce recovery time after spine surgery. In a study of 60 patients undergoing spinal surgery, the group given an integrated prehabilitation program and early rehabilitation improved the outcome and shortened their hospital stay – without more complications, pain or dissatisfaction.

Conditions and Procedures that we often see for Prehablitation

  • ACL Surgery
  • Knee, Hip, and Shoulder Replacement Surgery
  • Spine Surgery
  • Oncology Treatments and Chemotherapy
  • Colorectal and Abdominal Surgery

At FVPT, we believe that the stronger and more flexible your body is going into surgery, the stronger and more flexible you will be when you are recovering from surgery. Please give us a call if you are interested in a prehabilitation program.


Better Sooner and Later: Prehabilitation: There's growing evidence that adding a "p" to rehabilitation improves patient outcomes pre- and postsurgery and following cancer treatments—and saves money, too. By Eric Ries. PT In Motion from the American Physical Therapy Association. February 2016