What does Pre-surgical Physiotherapy Care Entail

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Whether major or minor, surgery is a delicate procedure that requires adequate preparation. Pre-surgical physiotherapy, also known as prehabilitation, is an aspect of preparation for surgery. 

Pre-surgical physiotherapy care consists of a series of exercise programs that improve a patient’s strength, flexibility, and overall fitness in preparation for a surgical procedure. This medical treatment aims to prevent complications before, during, and after surgery. This article will examine the benefits of undergoing pre-surgical care at Dynamic Physiotherapy. 

Who can benefit from Pre-surgical Physiotherapy Care?

Pre-surgical physiotherapy in Okotoks is beneficial for a wide range of surgical procedures. Some of these include:

  • Orthopedic surgeries: This type of surgery addresses injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues). Patients scheduled for orthopedic surgeries like joint replacement, fracture repair, arthroscopy, or spinal surgery, will benefit immensely from prehabilitation. 
  • Cardiac surgeries: Also known as cardiovascular surgeries, cardiac surgeries treat various conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels. Pre-surgical physiotherapy benefits patients preparing for cardiac surgeries like heart valve surgery, aortic surgery, heart transplant, etc.
  • Abdominal surgeries: These involve the organs and structures in the abdominal cavity. Examples of abdominal surgeries include hernia repair, gastrointestinal surgery, gastrectomy, bariatric surgery, etc. Pre-surgical physiotherapy is beneficial if you are getting ready for abdominal surgery.
  • Cancer surgeries: Patients scheduled for cancer surgeries such as mastectomy and tumor resection can benefit from pre-surgical physiotherapy care.
  • Thoracic surgeries: This type of surgery focuses on conditions affecting the organs and structures within the chest area of the body. Examples of thoracic surgeries include tracheal surgery, lung surgery, esophageal surgery, etc. Patients preparing for lung surgery can benefit immensely from pre-surgical physiotherapy care. 
  • Neurological surgeries: Neurosurgery addresses conditions affecting the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, spinal column, and peripheral nerves). Pre-surgical physiotherapy care can help patients planning to undergo neurosurgery.

What are the Components of Pre-surgical Physiotherapy Care?

Pre-surgical physiotherapy care typically starts a few weeks before the surgery, depending on the type of surgery and the patient’s needs. The duration of treatment typically lasts for several weeks. However, this varies, depending on the type of surgery and the patient’s need. The following are the things you should expect when you go for pre-surgical physiotherapy care in Okotoks, AB:

Comprehensive Assessment

Before you begin pre-surgical physiotherapy care, your physiotherapist will thoroughly assess your physical and mental condition, medical history, and other related factors. This assessment helps to determine your needs and guide your physiotherapists in creating a personalized activities plan. Factors assessed before you begin prehabilitation may include a joint range of motion, muscle strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, mental and emotional well-being, etc. 

Exercise Programs

After a complete assessment, a Okotoks physiotherapy program – tailored to address your needs and meet the surgery requirements – will be curated. This program involves varying exercises, depending on the nature of your surgery. These exercises enhance muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, joint flexibility, and overall functional capacity. Examples of exercise programs that may feature in your pre-surgical physiotherapy care include:

  • Flexibility exercises (stretching routines) to improve muscle elasticity and joint range of motion.
  • Strength training exercises (resistance bands and weights) to improve muscle tone and functional strength.
  • Cardio exercises to improve cardiovascular fitness.
  • Balance and coordination exercises (Yoga, Tai Chi, etc.) to enhance stability and prevent falls. 
  • Aerobic exercises (walking, cycling, swimming, etc.)

Pre-surgical physiotherapy exercises target the specific muscle groups, joints, and functional capacities relevant to the surgical procedure. These exercises change in intensity, complexity, and duration. Safety measures are observed during pre-surgical physiotherapy exercise programs to prevent injury or complications of existing conditions.


Patient education plays a vital role in pre-surgical physiotherapy care. It empowers patients with the knowledge and skills to care for themselves, make informed decisions, and contribute to their recovery. During prehabilitation, patients learn everything pre-surgical physiotherapy care entails, its goals, and how it affects them. They also learn the proper exercise techniques to ensure their safety while participating in the exercise programs.

Periodic Checkups

Pre-surgical physiotherapy care continues until the patient undergoes surgery. Therefore, it keeps evolving based on the patient’s progress and the physiotherapist’s discretion. Physiotherapists in Okotoks closely monitor their patients’ performance, adjusting their exercise programs as needed. 

Other components of pre-surgical physiotherapy care include psychosocial support, nutritional guidance, etc. Prehabilitation sometimes incorporates psychological support to help patients manage the raging emotions that may come with impending surgery. Also, prehabilitation guides suitable diets that will support your body before and after surgery.

Benefits of Pre-surgical Physiotherapy Care

There are several benefits to receiving pre-surgical physiotherapy care. Some of these include:

Enhances surgical outcome

The main goal of prehabilitation is the enhancement of surgical outcomes. Pre-surgical physiotherapy care optimizes body conditions in anticipation of surgery. This optimization leads to wound healing, reduced inflammation, and overall recovery. Patients who undergo pre-surgical physiotherapy care experience lesser pain, improved surgical outcomes, and decreased pain.

Faster recovery

Prehabilitation improves your physical fitness before surgery. It strengthens your muscles and enhances joint flexibility. Improved physical fitness through pre-surgical physiotherapy improves mobility and functional independence after surgery.

Better Pain Management

Pre-surgical physiotherapy equips patients with mental well-being and physical fitness to help them cope better with postoperative pain. It allows patients to develop a higher tolerance for pain in preparation for surgery. Prehabilitation teaches patients better pain management strategies that help them cope with the side effects of surgery.

Improved Quality of Life

Prehabilitation reduces pain, improves mobility, and restores the patient’s independence. All of these factors contribute positively to an individual’s quality of life.


In conclusion, pre-surgical physiotherapy care offers patients an effective way to optimize their physical and mental well-being while awaiting surgery. If you want to improve your surgical outcomes, heal faster, and reclaim your independence as soon as possible following surgery, consider going for pre-surgical physiotherapy care at Dynamic Physiotherapy.

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