Do you have an upcoming surgery? Our physiotherapist Tegan Skipworth provides an insight into the importance of pre-operative rehabilitation. 

What is pre-operative rehabilitation?

Pre-operative rehabilitation is exercise-based intervention prescribed to the patient before undergoing surgery. It is also known as ‘prehabilitation’ or ‘prehab’. Prehab helps you to recover quickly and has a positive effect on pain and function pre and post surgery. It is often used before hip and knee joint replacements and can be performed independently or under physiotherapy supervision. A pre-operative exercise program must consist of strength/resistance training component and a cardiovascular component.


Outcomes of pre-operative rehabilitation:

– Pre-operative physiotherapy exercise can lead to a faster functional recovery after total hip replacement (THR) and other joint replacement surgeries.

– Improvements in postoperative function can result in faster return to work time and reduction in services and level of personal assistance required.

– Pre-operative exercise can have a positive effect on pain management pre surgery.

– Pre operative rehab before joint replacement can result in reduced pain between weeks 1-4 post operation.

– Soft tissue surgeries such as the ACL, can see increases in knee-related functional and muscle strength is pre-operative rehabilitation is undertaken.

Pre-operative rehabilitation exercises lower limb surgeries

Try these exercises which are beneficial for lower limb surgery such as hip or knee replacements.  These exercises should not be painful or cause increase in symptoms.

1- Hip abductions

pre-operative rehabilitation hip abudction

Stand with your injured leg closest to a wall.
Keeping it straight, move this leg out to the side, pressing it into the wall.
Hold in this position.

2- Bridge

Bridge - Prehabilitation

Lie on your back.
Bend both knees and place your feet flat on the floor or bed.
Lift your bottom from the floor/bed.
Place your bottom back on the floor/bed.
Repeat this exercise and remember to continue to breathe properly.


3- Wall squatwall squat prehabilitation

Lean against a wall, with your feet away from the wall and roughly shoulder width apart.
Your back and bottom should remain in contact with the wall throughout.
Slide down the wall.
Push yourself back up the wall, driving the movement with your buttock muscles.



Book in now to start your pre-operative rehabilitation.  It’s never too late to start.  Book online or call our friendly team on 9571 6888.