We always recommend discussing your surgical timeline and appropriate prep with your surgeon. Very often surgeons will want to prescribe your prehab to begin anywhere from two weeks to two months prior to your procedure, depending on what you are having done. Our therapists will then work with your and your doctor to create a plan that will give you the best results. Many people who attend Physical Therapy for shoulder or back pain prior to surgery have seen positive results. In some cases, the therapeutic activities worked so well, and patients see such improvement to their range of motion, that the surgery is no longer necessary.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, a study by Harvard Medical School, among others, found prehab six weeks prior to surgery increased the odds of being discharged from the hospital straight to your home, rather than to a rehab facility, by 73% after hip or knee replacements. Lead study author Daniel Rooks, PHD, stated, "Their level of function and pain stabilized prior to surgery, whereas those who did not exercise got worse. The benefits of exercise before surgery are very clear." There are also intangible benefits to prehab! It will help you to prepare your mind as well as your body.