Patients who are scheduled for joint replacement surgery can get back to their active lives sooner, thanks to The Valley Hospital’s pre-surgical physical conditioning program. Called prehabilitation, or “prehab,” the program enhances patients’ fitness levels and functional mobility before surgery, which can result in a faster and easier recovery.
Valley’s prehab program is offered at the Medical Fitness Center in collaboration with the Department of Orthopedics.
Prehab is useful for patients undergoing the following procedures:
- Total hip replacement
- Total knee replacement
- Total ankle replacement
- Shoulder and wrist joint replacements
Benefits of Prehab
Improved Strength: Optimal strength is important not only in preparation for rehabbing the joint but also for helping the rest of the body compensate for a lack of full-body function during recovery.
Improved Body Awareness/Mechanics: After surgery, patients must re-learn everyday movements, such as rising from chairs or moving from beds. Prehab teaches patients better body awareness and mechanics in preparation for such hurdles.
Improved Fitness Level: Boosting overall stamina and cardiovascular capacity can improve the rate of healing and recovery. It also can improve personal drive during rehabilitation, especially when the process is most grueling.
Improved Function: Prehab before total joint replacement has been shown to improve overall functional mobility (think walking and stair climbing). In addition, patients report less pain, better quality of life and more confidence after a prehab exercise program.
Each patient’s prehab program is customized to his or her unique needs by our exercise physiologists and certified athletic trainers. A typical program includes:
- Warm-up exercises
- A cardiovascular component
- Strengthening of key muscle groups, with an emphasis on range of motion and flexibility
- Exercises to improve and preserve balance
- Functional skills practice
- Patient education
The sooner you begin prehab, the more benefits you’ll reap after your joint replacement surgery. You’ll feel stronger, more flexible and better prepared to take on the challenges of your post-surgical rehabilitation program.
Ask your physician or surgeon to be referred to the prehab program at Valley’s Medical Fitness Center, or call 201-447-8133 directly for a consultation.
The Medical Fitness Center also offers post-surgical exercise maintenance programs. Click here for more information.