By Dr. Heather Wright, DC,CCEP
The short answer is- YES! Many patients in our office are facing the probability of a joint replacement down the road, but despite that, we can help them to a certain extent in our office. How is that, you ask? Conservative care in our office helps in several ways:
1) Helps stabilize the joint and “hold off” the surgery (hopefully) a bit longer. This is important because with our rapidly developing technologies, a better way of doing the replacement may emerge in the meantime.
2) Faster recovery times are likely if you perform pre-operative rehab simply because your body is better balanced, toned, and accepting of the surgery. In fact, per a recent study, patients who did pre-operative rehab were less likely to need inpatient rehab after their surgeries than patients who didn’t do the rehab prior. So in a nutshell? Rehab prior- as Doctor Wright recommends in office- let’s you go home sooner after surgery.
Keep in mind patients with arthritis benefit from rehab even though you can’t “cure” the degenerative changes with it. The key? Follow Dr. Wright’s recommendations and keep after it to improve tolerance of the activity and increase stamina while long-term decreasing arthritic pain. It can be tough at first, but typical results are favorable!
Rooks DS, et al. “Effect of preoperative exercise on measures of functional status in men and women undergoing total hip and knee arthroplasty.” Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Oct 15;55(5):700-8.