Pre-Operative Physical Therapy Improves Post-Operative Outcomes
- Posted on: Nov 8 2014
A few weeks ago, the folks at Move Forward PT published an article entitled “Seven Myths About Physical Therapy.” In it they discussed some of the common misunderstandings of physical therapy and physical therapists. Before continuing to the rest of this post, take a minute to read the article – it is a quick and informative read.
The purpose of today’s article is to highlight and provide some recent evidence that supports Myth #3: Physical Therapy is only for injuries and accidents. Move Forward PT suggests that physical therapists are skilled at evaluating and diagnosing potential problems before they lead to more serious injuries or disabling conditions, and we couldn’t agree more.
However, as evident with the studies below, physical therapy can also facilitate a shorter more cost-effective post-surgical rehabilitation process when the patient undergoes pre-operative physical therapy (often termed *prehab*). These studies highlight the benefits of prehab for total hip replacements (THR), total knee replacements (TKR), and ACL reconstruction, to name a few.
The one study looking at TKR’s and THR’s in particular compiled some very eye opening statistics (1). They found that when individuals took part in a pre-operative physical therapy program supervised by licensed physical therapists:
1. 54.2% of patients who utilized preoperative physical therapy required postoperative care services.
2. 79.7% of patients who did NOT have preoperative physical therapy required postoperative care.
3. The decline in postoperative care services resulted in an adjusted cost reduction of $1215.00 per patient.
So, physical therapy services can be used to benefit individuals in a variety of ways, and it is not limited to post-surgical or post-injury care. If you are considering surgery, ask your doctor or surgeon about the benefits of pre-operative rehabilitation.
1. R. Snow, J. Granata, A. V. S. Ruhil, K. Vogel, M. McShane, R. Wasielewski. Associations Between Preoperative Physical Therapy and Post-Acute Care Utilization Patterns and Cost in Total Joint Replacement. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, 2014; 96 (19): e165