If you are planning on undergoing any surgery in the future your doctor may have talked to you about going to physical therapy afterwards, but what you should also consider is looking into doing some pre-surgery exercise known as pre-habilitation or prehab.

What is it? Pre-habilitation aims to improve the general health and wellbeing of the person prior to major surgery including joint replacements, cardiac surgery, transplant surgery, etc. This can be done through prescription of an exercise routine to help target muscles and joints that will be affected post operatively. Exercises can include working on flexibility, strengthening, and cardiorespiratory training with the overall goal to help promote optimal recovery following surgery.

The Benefits:

  • Result in less post-operative pain
  • Reduced surgical and post-surgical complications
  • Decrease length of hospital stays
  • Improve surgical outcomes such as walking speed and ability to perform sit to stand transfers
  • Help mentally prepare for surgery
  • Prevent injuries before they occur – prehab can help to educate on proper body mechanics for performing transfers or walking to prevent secondary injuries following surgery

Most research studies involved prehab programs that lasted anywhere from 4-8 weeks prior to surgery. It is understandable if exercise is the last thing on your mind to surgery due to pain or limited function but given the research and all of the benefits it can provide; we strongly recommend investing the time and effort beforehand to help aid in a more optimal recovery.

All Health Physical Therapy Personal Training: At AHPT we have our own in-house wellness center. We offer individualized personal training sessions that can vary from group sessions, semi-private sessions, or private sessions. The group and semi-private sessions are 45 minutes and the private sessions can be from 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes. Call today to get started on your prehabilitation journey with AHPT.


  1. Clode NJ, Perry MA, Wulff L. Does physiotherapy prehabilitation improve pre-surgical outcomes and influence patient expectations prior to knee and hip joint arthroplasty? Int J Orthop Trauma Nurs. 2018 Aug;30:14-19. doi: 10.1016/j.ijotn.2018.05.004. Epub 2018 Jun 25. PMID: 29954717
  2. Myers JN and Fonda H. The impact of fitness on surgical outcomes: the case for prehabilitation. Trans Jr of the ACSM. 2016 Sep: 103-110. doi: 10.1249/TJX.0000000000000009

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