What is PREHAB?

I have recently had an influx of patients with ACL injuries, both pre and post surgical, as well as other more complex pre and post surgical knee patients. These patients have reminded me of a topic that I think deserves a little more love and attention.



Prehab is an exercise and therapy program that is completed before a surgery in order to be the strongest and most knowledgeable version of yourself going into surgery.

Knee and Hip replacements are huge topics when it comes to prehab because of the magnitude of the surgery.

However, any orthopaedic surgery in general would benefit from exercises and strengthening pre surgery. You can never be too strong going into surgery.

There are many benefits of prehab which include:

  • Faster recovery after your surgery

  • Big strong muscles that won’t atrophy (or shrink) as fast when you’re unable to use them after surgery

  • Possible shorter hospital stays as you will be able to meet criteria for discharge quicker due to your underlying strength and physical fitness

  • Better outcome from surgery

  • Regular physical activity can decrease your anxiety that you may have regarding your upcoming surgery

It may be beneficial to make a check up appointment with your physiotherapist prior to your surgery in order to get some guidance on the best things to do to prepare your body for the surgery. Your physiotherapist may also be able to give advice on what to expect from the surgery and what it will be like in those first few days after the surgery.

You wouldn’t run a marathon without training for it, so why undergo a (sometimes major!) surgery without training for it? You want to be the best that you can be to obtain the most positive outcomes.

Courtney Postma, Physiotherapy Resident

Courtney Postma