Should I Have Physical Therapy Before My Hip or Knee Replacement?

December 19, 2014 in STSMPT

A recent study in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery finds that as few as two preoperative physical therapy sessions can reduce postoperative care use by 29% for patients undergoing total hip or knee replacement. In addition, the decrease in postoperative care added up to a savings of over $1,000 in health care costs per individual.


Researchers reviewed the cases of 4,733 total joint replacement cases. Nearly 80% of patients who did not receive physical therapy before surgery required post acute care services. These services included a stay at a skilled nursing facility, the use of home health services, inpatient rehabilitation, or a combination of the three during a 90-day period after surgery. That rate dropped to 54% for the participants who received even a small number of preoperative physical therapy sessions. The study authors say the major benefit of preoperative physical therapy is the way it prepared patients for postoperative rehabilitation. The physical therapy sessions included training the individuals on assistive walking devices, managing expectations, and laying out a detailed recovery plan – all before the patient had surgery.


If you are scheduled for hip or knee replacement surgery, give us a call. We can help with preoperative physical therapy sessions to cut down on your time and costs with postoperative care.


Source: Snow R, Granata J, Ruhil A, et al. Associations between preoperative physical therapy and post-acute care utilization patterns and cost in total joint replacement. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, 2014 Oct 01;96(19):e165.

Preoperative Physical Therapy

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