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Ask the Expert: Physical therapy before joint replacement surgery

By Elizabeth Johnson, PT, DPT
Therapy and Wellness, Physical Therapist

Q: Why should I come to physical therapy before my joint replacement surgery?

A: Meeting with a physical therapist prior to your surgery will give you an opportunity to learn about the rehab process and expectations after surgery. This is a good time to ask any questions you have. The physical therapist will make sure you have all the necessary equipment, such as a walker or shower chair, for after surgery. We will teach you how to use any equipment or assistive devices you may need.

You are often seen for just one appointment a few weeks before surgery. At this appointment, you may be given exercises to start working on at home. This will help familiarize you with exercises for after surgery as well as help you gain strength and motion to make your surgery recovery easier. Often you can complete the exercises at home and you do not need to return to the clinic for further physical therapy until after your surgery.

Your surgical team will send a referral to Rainy Lake Medical Center’s Therapy and Wellness Department and you will receive a phone call to set up an evaluation a few weeks before surgery. If you have questions, contact the Therapy and Wellness Department at 218-283-5420.

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