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Prehabilitation – Getting Fit for Surgery will Accelerate Post-op Rehab

By Ross Baines – Physiotherapist

The concept of prehab for surgery is now recognized as a major factor in getting the best post operative function.

Research demonstrates that patients who participate in pre-op exercise programs regain their functional capability faster and better than those patients who don’t undertake appropriate exercises before the surgery.

In an article in the Rebalance MD Magazine in 2016, Dr. Lucas Pugh,  an Orthopaedic Surgeon at ReBalance says “research has shown the importance of optimizing patients before major surgery to maximize their results after surgery. For instance, the concept of ‘pre-hab’ or prehabilitation involves exercising to increase strength and fitness prior to surgery and eventual rehabilitation. The consensus is that this does improve pain and function.”

Here in Victoria BC, preop clinics are routine for procedures such as hip and knee replacements. At these clinics there is education about the procedure and post op care. It is important to be informed about post op rehab as the most patients get very little physiotherapy  in hospital as their stay is less than 48 hours. Prehab clinics teach patients about using crutches, how to do the post op exercises and how function will progress. Practicing these tasks before surgery helps with compliance and function after surgery.

PhysioPlus can support patients to achieve a successful outcome after joint replacement surgery through the following services

  • GLA:D – this research based program improves mobility, alignment and muscle control to improve function and reduce pain for patients with hip and knee arthritis. This program is suitable for patients with pain and disability wanting to improve their function prior to joint replacement, or as postop rehab.
  • BodyFit – a customized training program designed by our experienced physiotherapists and personal trainer. The BodyFit program is suitable as prehab or rehab. BodyFit is more suited to the patient with higher expectations of function requiring both injury specific and general fitness training. The BodyFit program aims to:
    • Review Fitness
    • Rehab Injuries
    • Restore Ability
    • Reach Goals
  • Physio@Home – to get mobile again after hip or knee replacement we can arrange physiotherapy at your home. Christine Morrison is experienced and resourceful having worked in hospitals and VIHA community care services to help patients improve function and independence after joint replacements.

For more information or to book an appointment, click the button to contact us!

Caleigh ( Athlete and student )

“After two sprained ankles within twenty-four hours of one another, intensive physiotherapy got me off crutches and to an overnight snowshoe camp and European soccer tour within weeks.”


Nell (Educator and (again, thanks to Ross) considerably more knowledgeable Cricket Spectator)

“I was referred to Ross by my doctor, originally, for treatment of shin splints. When Ross could see my progress was not as expected, he communicated with my doctor regarding the possibility of a tibia fracture – a subsequent CT scan confirmed it was. Thanks to Ross’s professional experience and keen attention to underlying symptoms, my injury was more accurately diagnosed and is now, with his physio support, healing well. Ross’ quiet sense of humour and steady encouragement have made my physio treatment experience very positive”.


Peter ( still strolling along. )

“Ross took the time to understand the impact heel pain had on my activities and analyze the mechanics and footwear that aggravated the pain. With therapy and the custom orthotics he prescribed and recommended footwear I was able to happily stroll through the villages and countryside of Italy this Summer.”

(still strolling along.)

Paul Gray ( active dad and running enthusiast )

“My experience at PhysioPlus was extremely positive. 3 days after tearing my ACL playing soccer I had my first visit. I walked in on crutches and was wearing an immobilizer knee brace for stability. Ross was able to help me regain confidence to bear weight on my injured leg and I was able to walk out with the crutches in one hand and the knee brace in the other.

Ross was able to confirm from his assessment of my knee that I had, in fact, ruptured my ACL which had not yet been confirmed, being prior to an appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon or an MRI.

Ross had me work through a program pre-surgery to regain as much mobility and stability I could without having the ACL intact. After the reconstructive surgery was completed we worked through a program to continue to increase mobility and strength. Having access to the exercise room complete with equipment was extremely helpful. Ross was able to explain and demonstrate how to effectively work through the exercise routines.

Within one year of my surgery I have returned to running and have started some hiking. I would highly recommend PhysioPlus to anyone requiring treatment. The atmosphere is calm and everyone is extremely friendly and caring.”

Paul Gray
Active Dad and Running Enthusiast

Lisa Wren (Age 55)

“After completing an extensive painting project, I ended up with a frozen right shoulder, which was extremely painful and debilitating. This is when my introduction to Physioplus occurred. My physiotherapist, Ross Baines, was instrumental in getting me back to good health. Ross used various interventional techniques to encourage movement in the shoulder joint, always providing me with ample information about each. He was always professional and communicated thoroughly with the rest of my medical team. I have every confidence that the care Ross provided expedited my return to normal activity. I would not hesitate to recommend Ross and the entire team at Physioplus!”

Lisa Wren

Bruce Cook – previous hard core triathlete

“Most highly recommended for physio and rehab. Ross is a knowledgable and caring practitioner, going above and beyond to help you. Easy going personality and very supportive. Ross is easy to talk to with incredible results. A+ from me.”

Bruce Cook
– previous hard core triathlete