Preparing for total hip or knee replacement is much like training to run a marathon. It is important to prepare your muscles and body for the recovery and the physical therapy afterward. This is known as Prehab (preoperative rehabilitation), which are pre-operative physical therapy and exercises prior to surgery. The focus of these exercises is aerobic, stretching, and strength. In this post, we discuss our top exercises for each group that will get you ready for surgery!
Many aerobic exercises can be difficult due to hip or knee joint arthritis and pain. There are several aerobic exercises that do offload the joints and can help prepare your cardiovascular system and leg muscles for surgery such as stationary biking, elliptical, walking, swimming, and water aerobics.
Stretching is an important part of your hip and knee health. While arthritic joints cause limited motion, maximizing the motion you do have before surgery can make the world of difference in your recovery. Many of these exercises you will also utilize after surgery so being familiar with these exercises is an added plus.
Optimizing your core strength and quadricep strength prior to hip or knee surgery can improve your recovery and range of motion.