RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- For anyone who has contemplated a knee or hip replacement, the prospect of a long post-surgical recovery can be a daunting one. The grueling rehabilitation sessions, the frustration of re-learning everyday movements, the weeks of waiting to return to 'normal' is almost enough to make patients reconsider surgery. However, thanks to The Valley Hospital's new pre-surgery conditioning program, those contemplating a hip or knee replacement can be back back on their feet in no time.
“Prehab can help people return to a healthier, more active life sooner. It’s a great addition to our full scope of joint replacement services,” says Dr. Anthony Delfico, Director of Orthopedic Surgery at Valley.
Best of all, prehab is appropriate for all fitness levels, so anyone can participate. “Based on an initial assessment of current flexibility and range of motion, exercise physiologists and certified athletic trainers create a customized program to meet individual patients’ needs,” explains. Don Tomaszewsk, Director of Valley’s Sports Institute.
Rockland County resident Nicholas Longo, 74, enrolled in prehab two months before his May knee replacement. “I had no pain whatsoever right after the surgery. I was driving in two weeks,” Longo said. He was so pleased with the results that re-enrolled in prehab to prepare for his right knee replacement surgery, which took place on September 14. “Prehab is what I consider the best way to do it,” Longo said.
Prehab isn't meant to replace post-surgery rehabilitation; rather, it helps adults get the most out of their rehab program. Prehab builds strength, endurance and range of motion, all of which can help prepare patients to take on a rigorous recovery program.
A typical prehab program begins about six weeks before joint surgery and includes cardiovascular conditioning, strengthening of key muscle groups, balance/posture assessment and training, and patient education.