The ideal time to begin physiotherapy is before an orthopedic procedure, not after.
Research evidence suggests that physiotherapy intervention before orthopedic procedures such as joint replacement “aids the postoperative (functional) recovery” of some patients.* More specifically, clinicians interviewed by this writer report that orthopedic procedure patients recover more quickly and restore a more complete range of motion.
In most cases, physiotherapy is the preferred method of preparation, rehabilitation, and prevention of complications.
Physiotherapists experienced with orthopedic surgery candidates speed recovery and reduce complications.
A well-planned course of physiotherapy treatment in anticipation of a specific procedure can significantly speed up the tissue repair process and help prevent the occurrence of post-surgical complications.
Rehabilitation after surgery.
Even if the initial outcome of the surgical procedure appears favorable, the fact is that a significant percentage of post-surgical patients experience complications. For example, approximately 10% of knee replacement patients experience unanticipated difficulty with restoring range of motion – initially everything may look good, but as post-surgical healing progresses, range of motion may not. Although research does not conclude that pre-surgical physiotherapy reduces this risk, clinical reports suggest that it does.
Conclusion for pre-surgical and post-surgical patients: Think ahead of the curve and start physiotherapy BEFORE surgery.
In conclusion, since there is no downside (only an upside) in engaging a physiotherapist before surgery. Every orthopedic patient should consider it. One day I believe insurance/payors will require it as research supports its efficacy.
Free Pre-Surgical Functional Readiness Screening
As part of our standard of care, we offer a free pre-surgical functional readiness screening.